Melbourne Storm v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday, 7 September, 7:50pm
AAMI Park, Melbourne
The Storm’s 16-7 home and away season was set up by eight wins in the middle of the season between rounds 11 and 20. It is the first time the club went undefeated during the State of Origin period. South Sydney had a similar winning streak, winning nine matches in a row, to finish on an equal record with the Storm. The Bunnies ended Melbourne’s winning streak with a terrific 30-20 win in round 21 at ANZ Stadium. Damien Cook was electric for Souths in the second half, as they piled on three tries to one to dominate the match. Cook ran for a staggering 190 metres on 19 runs and scored a try. Sam Burgess was also immense with 204 metres and a try. The Storm had no answer as they were starved of quality field position in the final 40 minutes of the game.
Stats That Matter
- South Sydney is only 3-11 against Melbourne in recent times, with one of those wins coming this season.
- The Bunnies are winless at AAMI Park and have played at the ground seven times.
- The most recent finals meeting between these two teams took place in the 2013 qualifying final. South Sydney prevailed 20-10 at ANZ Stadium and went on to win the competition that year.
- South Sydney led the competition in points (582) and tries (98) during the home and away season.
- The Storm has one of the best goal kicking conversion percentages in the competition (81%), while the Rabbitohs are second last with only 72% of their conversions successful this season.
The Wolf knows the Rabbitohs have never won in Melbourne before, but he is sniffing an upset on Friday night. The Bunnies forward pack, featuring the Burgess twins and big brother Sam in the lock position are sure to want to exert their dominance early against the Storm. The one area of weakness for Souths is in their backline, so expect the Storm to target the inexperienced wings of Campbell Graham and Robert Jennings. Melbourne desperately needs Josh Addo-Carr to fire and will welcome the return of Suliasi Vunivalu. Melbourne is justified to enter the match as favourites, but Souths have the cleaner bill of health and advantage in the forwards.
How It Shapes Up
South Sydney by 2.
Best: South Sydney ($2.05)
Value: South Sydney +1.5 / Under 38.5 ($3.25)
First Tryscorer: Greg Inglis ($15)