Melbourne Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster

Despite Latrell Mitchell’s best efforts, it was the Melbourne Storm who grinded out a tough win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs. 

The 22-8 scoreline at AAMI Park may suggest some Storm dominance but it was a closer game than that.

There were several changes and several debuts; Cameron Murray reverted back to his more natural position of lock for the Rabbitohs.

Keaon Koloamatangi and Chris Lewis made their debuts for the Rabbitohs and Storm respectively.

Brenko Lee also made his club debut for the Storm, having previously played in Canberra and the Gold Coast.

It took just eight minutes for the Storm to score and Storm debutant Lee was in the thick of the action.

His work down the right flank found winger Suliasi Vunivalu and fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen did the rest to score.

An arm wrestle ensued, with both sides going tit-for-tat and fighting tooth and nail for every metre.

Damien Cook and Mitchell got the Rabbitohs on the front foot and capitalised, with the fullback showing his ball skills.

A crisp spiral cut-out pass found Alex Johnston who did the rest, scoring in the corner.

Souths, up 6-4, showed their mettle and resolve, working hard and playing hard, but did not have more to show for it.

Instead, it was one of the plays of the game that saw Munster slice and weave his way through the Rabbitohs defence.

In support, Jahrome Hughes chipped ahead and a fortuitous bounce saw Vunivalu get on the scoresheet.

The Storm could have gone further ahead early in the second half, only for Hughes to be denied a try of his own.

Souths half Adam Reynolds would slot a field goal and the score sat at 8-apiece.

That was broken when Cam Smith slotted a penalty goal of his own to make it 10-8.

Munster then showed his class in the kicking game with a perfect crossfield chip for Josh Addo-Carr, wide open, to score.

Perhaps one of the more remarkable plays of the game, however, came via Storm fullback Papenhuyzen.

Words may not do it justice.

It was then the Storm on the back foot, as they had to absorb pressure from the Rabbitohs.

They managed to do so despite the best efforts of the Bunnies and it paid off, with a final try for Justin Olam.

The Papua New Guinean international capitalised on a Munster offload and did the rest to score.

Although pleased with the improved performance, Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett knows his side needs improvement.

“I’ve still got a fair bit of optimism we can to where we need to go,” Bennett said.

“We’ve got a couple of quality players to come back; I’m not looking at it saying ‘gee, this is going to be a tough season.

“There’s a lot of effort going in and if the effort’s there I’m pretty confident we can fix the other part up.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Cameron Munster

2. Brenko Lee

  1. Latrell Mitchell
South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell

 

By ricky

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