Once again, Billy Slater showed the NRL world and community why he is the game’s best fullback, with a starring display against the South Sydney Rabbitohs – guiding his team to a 24-10 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at AAMI Park.
“It was a bit scrappy and we got a bit of a rocket at halftime,” Slater said.
“It was a tough effort from the boys.”
The win means that Melbourne are one of just three teams to have opened their 2012 NRL season, with 2 wins, though they were made to work hard for it, when the Bunnies fought back to have the scores level at 10-apiece, at the end of the first-half.
Although Souths fought back well, they just could not break the deadlock after half-time, despite having a try to winger Fetuli Talanoa denied – only to see opposition fullback Billy Slater score a try at the other end.
Michael Maguire, Souths coach said: “It was a fair swing in the game. But you’ve got to be able to handle that and they are the things we have to develop as a team. You have to stay strong.”
Storm coach Craig Bellamy was full of relief, after seeing Slater breaking the deadlock to score a very skilful, and crafty try.
“I don’t know if too many other guys could have scored that try,” Bellamy said.
“To have that pace to get in to the corner was quite remarkable. And it was a huge turning point. I thought there was no way in the world he could have scored.”
Maguire, whilst pleased with his side’s momentum towards the end of the first-half, knew that it would be difficult to maintain that upon the resumption, and it proved to be the case.
“You have to take your opportunities and as much as at half-time we did have the momentum, I knew we had to hold on to that because they are a team that doesn’t go away,” Maguire said.
NRL News Dally M Points
Billy Slater – 3
Sam Burgess – 2
Dane Nielsen – 1