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The Melbourne Storm have emerged 26-10 winners over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in a tough encounter in Melbourne on Saturday Night Football. The match was deadlocked at 6-all at half time.
Souths had the early running with the football, but some sloppy passing saw them unable to capitalise.
The Storm took the lead with a Steve Turner try out wide after 13 minutes following a failed Vagana intercept. Six minutes later Turner looked to be over again, however the play was called back for a rather obvious obstruction leading up to the try.
The Rabbitohs capitalised on the let-off and scored a Dean Widders try off a pass that appeared to be more than a little bit forward. Neither side managed any more points in the first half, with both teams having good chances in the final minutes of the half.
The game was quick out of the blocks in the second half, with Nathan Merritt nearly scoring a miraculous try as the Storm players watched the ball nearly trickle over the dead ball line off a clearing kick. In reply, the Storm created an overlap and put Matt King over only two minutes later for a 12-6 lead.
The Storm extended their lead with a penalty goal in the 54th minutes, and sealed the game 10 minutes later with a try to Matt Geyer.
Shannon Hegarty scored a late try for the Rabbitohs that gave them half a chance, but a bombed try by Nathan Merritt several minutes later made certain the Storm would win.
Greg Inglis added the cherry on top in the final minute, fumbling with a Cooper Cronk bomb before grounding it in a dive to seal a 26-10 victory and leave the crowd of over 11,000 in great spirits.
Match Details Round 12 - Full Time :: June 2nd, 2007 07:30 PM Venue: Olympic Park Referee: Jared Maxwell
Melbourne Storm 26 Tries: Steve Turner, Matt King, Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis Goals: Cameron Smith (5/5) South Sydney Rabbitohs 10 Tries: Dean Widders, Shannon Hegarty Goals: Nathan Merritt (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Ryan Hoffman (Storm) 2 Points: Cameron Smith (Storm) 1 Point: Roy Asotasi (Rabbitohs)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Both sides taking to the field now.
1 min: Underway at Olympic Park Stadium!
2 min: Souths with a good start forcing a mistake from Israel Folau and getting a scrum 10 out.
4 min: A Widders grubber earns Souths a drop out.
5 min: The Storm hold out after a poor Widders kick, brought on by a dreadful pass from dummy half.
6 min: The Storm force Vagana back into the in goal after he defuses a bomb.
8 min: A Storm error takes the pressure off the Rabbitohs.
12 min: The Storm get a penalty, and that is followed up by a penalty for backchat, putting them on attack from 20 out.
13 min: VIDEO REF - For a Storm try...
13 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Vagana races out of the line to attempt an intercept, he gets and hand to the ball before Steve Turner comes up with the ball and he fights to get the ball down in the corner. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 6-0
18 min: Souths put a kick out on the full, the Storm go on attack from 40 out.
19 min: VIDEO REF - For another Storm try...
19 min: NO TRY - PENALTY - The Storm are penalised for a fairly clear obstruction, with Turner crossing out wide.
21 min: The Rabbitohs really muscle up in defence, holding the Storm 15 out from their own line, but a good clearing kick keeps the Rabbitohs in their own half.
22 min: Souths are given a scrum feed 20 out after Folau deflects a kick into touch.
23 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Jeremy Smith throws a stunning pass to Widders who crosses untouched, the pass looked distinctly forward however. Conversion attempt by Nathan Merritt successful. 6 all
28 min: Asotasi knocks on and the Storm go on attack again.
29 min: A poor pass from dummy half on the last tackle gets the Rabbitohs an intercept only 10 out from their own line.
39 min: Souths pick up a line drop out.
HALFTIME in a very interesting clash, the Rabbitohs exceeding all expectations are locked at 6-all with the Storm.
Back out for the second half.
40 min: Back underway at Olympic Park!
41 min: VIDEO REF - For a Souths try...
41 min: NO TRY - 20 METRE RESTART - The Bunnies put in a clearing kick, the Storm let wait for it to go dead and Merritt comes from nowhere to very nearly ground the ball for a try.
43 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Off the back of a penalty, the Storm work an overlap to the left and King scores out wide. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 12-6
51 min: The Rabbitohs appear to put Folau back in the in goal, but Folau is ruled to have been tackled in mid-air.
54 min: PENALTY GOAL Melbourne Storm Souths are penalised in possession for not standing up to play the ball. Smith adds two more points from 25 out, right in front. Melbourne Storm 14-6
59 min: Folau goes Tallis-on-Hodgson on Merritt and throws him into touch 20 out from the Storm line.
64 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Geyer breaks through the Souths defence and crawls over the line to score. Probably safe to say the Storm will go on to win this. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 20-6
67 min: Quinn takes an impressive intercept on the last tackle while the Storm are defending their line.
71 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Good continuity by the Rabbitohs sees Hegarty score from a nice offload. Conversion attempt by Nathan Merritt unsuccessful. Melbourne Storm 20-10
73 min: Souths make a break, and Merritt can't pick the ball up with the line open. Not an easy pick up, to be fair.
77 min: The Storm go on attack off a Bunnies error.
78 min: Souths hold out.
79 min: VIDEO REF - For a Storm try...
80 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Cronk puts up a small bomb, Inglis flies high, fumbles the ball and recovers it on his way down to score next to the posts. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 26-10
FULLTIME and the Storm have outlasted the brave Rabbitohs, claiming a 26-10 win.