Melbourne Storm has extended its streak of narrow victories in the Jersey Flegg competition, holding on for a 22-20 victory against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday afternoon.
Despite battling a number of injuries and sore bodies following what has been a three-game stretch of fixtures against side sitting in the top-6, Storm continued to get the job done to now make it four wins straight and move into 5th spot on the table.
Storm opened their account through winger Siulagi Pio who nabbed his first try in the Jersey Flegg competition, all courtesy of a slick harbour bridge pass over the top from halfback Joshua Berryman in the 7th minute.
While the Rabbitohs hit back through Dranza Hawe-De-Thierry in the 18th minute, that would prove to be the final decisive moment of the first half, neither side able to cross the stripe for the remainder of the half.
Storm started their second half in the best possible fashion, with a trademark barnstorming run from powerful winger Oscar Amosa putting the Rabbitohs on the back foot before Mitchell Jennings does what he does best, finding his way to the line to add another try to his 2023 tally in the 37th minute.
Rabbitohs continued to pepper the right edge defence of the Storm, hitting back five minutes later thanks to a solo effort from gun centre Ethan Ferguson who collected his own kick and proved too strong close to the line.
Storm managed to build pressure with a repeat set and after setting up camp attacking the Rabbitohs line, they would eventually breach the defense, Jordan Wilson crashing over under the posts in the 51st minute.
Jordan Wilson would unfortunately go from hero to villain, pinged for an incorrect play the ball coming out of trouble, which opened the door for Rabbitohs to score down their potent left edge once again, with Tyrone Munro scoring in the corner in the 54th minute.
After a first half that saw only two tries, the points well and truly began to flow in regular intervals, Storm wasting little time to hit back through K-CI Newton-Whare in the 58th minute.
While Joshua Berryman played a key role in Storm’s first try, it was another young talent that set up their last, hooker Suliasi Prescott jumping out from dummy half and putting K-CI Newton-Whare over in the 58th minute.
It proved a crucial six-points for the Storm, Rabbitohs scoring shortly after through Joseph Nohra to set up a grandstand finish in the final five minutes.
With a minute left to play, Joseph Nohra put through a chip and chase and despite a number of Rabbitohs jerseys pouring through, Matthew Hill managed to stick out a hand and reel the football in, ensuring Storm would hold on for the two-point win.
Storm now return home to face the 2nd placed Cronulla Sharks for the second time inside a month, set to do battle at Gosch’s paddock on Sunday at 1:30pm.