Repelling numerous sets when it mattered with tremendous goal-line and scramble defence, the Melbourne Storm are now 3-2 to start the season after a win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Leading with ten minutes to go, several players made Herculean-like tackles in defence to deny the Rabbitohs try-scoring opportunities.
With both sides completing their sets mostly effectively, it was a closely fought contest from the get-go.
The Storm would score after just six minutes when Jonah Pezet’s kick saw two Rabbitohs collide with each other and the ball spill free, with Josh King pouncing to scoop up the loose ball.
Two of Souths big guns then combined to level the scores up when Cam Murray took the line on, found a half yard of space and put Cody Walker through to score.
Grant’s resilience to stay alive with the ball led to the Storm’s second try as Nick Meaney eventually found Will Warbrick who steamrolled over Alex Johnston to score in the right corner.
At 12-6, the game was evenly poised but the Storm would soon extend their lead with a well-worked try.
Xavier Coates was put in space down the left edge and kicked back in field where Cam Munster was waiting and lurking to grab the ball and score.
Latrell Mitchell then injected himself into the game to try and spark the Rabbitohs attack and it worked.
Double pumping and feigning a pass to his winger, Mitchell instead found Campbell Graham short who hit the hole well and went over to score.
Try as they might after that, despite numerous opportunities, the Rabbitohs just could not score any further points.
Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou lamented his side’s lack of intensity to start the contest as their ultimate downfall.
“We just didn’t come with the intensity that we have the last few weeks,” said Demetriou.
“You could feel it pre-game that we weren’t quite where we needed to be and we were just waiting for something to happen.”
Storm coach Craig Bellamy felt like although his players made it more difficult for themselves, the defensive resolve was their best effort of the season.
“We made it really hard on ourselves at times, but they backed that up with our best defensive game of the season, without a doubt,” said Bellamy.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Harry Grant (MEL)
2. Cam Munster (MEL)
1. Cam Murray (SOU)