Storm beat Rabbitohs in a nail biter - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm beat Rabbitohs in a nail biter

By Justin Chadwick 14/06/2009 06:34:06 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm surged to third on the NRL table with a nail-biting 28-22 victory over a plucky South Sydney at Members Equity Stadium in Perth on Saturday night.

The Rabbitohs raced out to a 10-0 lead early in the match and led 22-14 after 54 minutes before the Storm launched a late comeback, with tries to Cooper Cronk, Steve Turner and last week's hat-trick hero Joseph Tomane snatching victory for Melbourne.

The win was Melbourne's eighth straight triumph over South Sydney, with the Rabbitohs left to rue yet another substandard defensive performance after conceding a whopping 80 points in their previous two games.

In front of 15,197 fans, Rabbitohs winger Jamie Simpson got the home' side off to a flyer, intercepting a risky pass from Storm five-eighth Brett Finch before running 70m to notch the first try of the night after just five minutes.

Simpson's second in the 19th minute put the Storm well and truly on the back foot, but tries to Greg Inglis and Ryan Hoffman ensured the scores were tied at 10-10 by the break.

The Rabbitohs edged out to a 16-10 lead in the 44th minute through David Fa'alogo's try and Isaac Luke's conversion, only for Wairangi Koopu to hit back for the Storm.

A bruising tackle from Eddy Pettybourne and David Kidwell left Storm lock Dallas Johnson seeing stars, and the Rabbitohs ensured that intensity carried over into their next attacking foray.

The failure of Finch and Inglis to deal with a tumbling kick in their try zone proved costly for the Storm, with Nathan Merritt pouncing on the pair's fumble to give the Rabbitohs a handy 22-14 buffer after 54 minutes.

But from there the Storm took control, with the Rabbitohs' defence out wide wilting under Melbourne's intense pressure.

Cronk slid through in the 62nd minute to close the gap to just two points, and when Steve Turner touched down in the corner in the 69th minute, the Storm were ahead for the first time in the match.

Tomane sealed the deal five minutes from time when he latched on to a mesmerising pass from Inglis to touch down for a simple try.

South Sydney's third loss on the trot leaves the club three points adrift of the top eight.

Rabbitohs coach Jason Taylor said he was pleased with his side's effort.

"We feel we should have won the game," Taylor said.

"I'm not concerned at all to be honest about the scoreboard tonight.

"I'm disappointed we don't get the two points for our effort because I thought we put in enough effort to get two points."

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy praised his team's fighting spirit.

"It was a funny sort of game," Bellamy said.

"Souths got a real good star in both halves and we were always behind, so there was a little bit of pressure there.

"But I was happy with the way our guys stuck at it.

"When we had the ball we were quite threatening but we probably didn't get as much ball as we would have liked and we didn't complete as much as we would have liked."

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