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Live: Storm v Rabbitohs

Heartbreak again for South Sydney.  And that's it from us tonight, join me again tomorrow evening from 7pm when we head to Parramatta Stadium to wrap up round two when the Eels host last year's grand finalists, the Warriors. 

Smith pushes it wide once more for a rare 2/5 success rate.  Melbourne join Manly and the Bulldogs with two wins from their two opening matches.

80 min: TRY.  Billy Slater dives on a kick from Dane Nielsen for the Storm to make things look a bit more comprehensive.  Beautiful second-man play from Cronk for Widdop to spread it to Nielsen, and that's a fantastic Storm team try.  24-10 with the kick to wrap things up.

Storm in no rush to pack this scrum with 90 seconds to go.  Souths will get another chance but it's all academic now

78 min: Crocker knocks on and that's it for Souths surely. 

77 min: Souths go wide through Inglis who makes a break and wins the penalty for the Bunnies.

Talanoa off for Souths, Shaune Corrigan on for the final minutes

75 min: Eddy Pettybourne tries to get tricky....and loses the ball.  Storm hoping to put things beyond doubt with four minutes to play

74 min: Time running out for Souths here as another set finishes without result.  Melbourne finally get the kick away and noone wants it.  McQueen tackled on his own 40m line for Souths' first tackle.

Inside the final 10 minutes here.  Round two in the NRL and round two in the chair for this blogger.  The omen backers might realise Souths were involved at my first attempt also.  But both stints have also resulted in Manly wins, so I guess every cloud has a Silvertail lining.

70 min: Souths bringing the ball away from their line.  Taylor, back on the field, has it 40m out.

68 min: Matt King goes to ground just metres out but Souths have spilled it again.

68 min: Souths get the penalty and just a sniff of the break they've been looking for.  20m out from the Storm line

65 min: Cameron Smith has pushed that one wide, score remains 20-10

63 min: TRY - Nielsen gets his second for the Storm.  20-10 with a kick to come.  Textbook play from Craig Bellamy's side.

62 min: Melbourne looking for a way through the Souths defence.  Chris McQueen spills the kick and now it's a penalty to the home side.

Storm throw away, quite literally, another good chance.  Matt King takes it up for Souths against his former side

A crunching hit from Sam Burgess on Bryan Norrie.  Best on ground for the Rabbitohs again.

57 min: And Slater again.  The lad can leap and it's Ryan Hinchcliffe taking it up for Melbourne.

56 min: Farrell reminds us all there's two good fullbacks at work here tonight, fielding the Storm's kick and breaking the line to make 30m for his side

55 min: Smith puts the Storm a converted try in front.  16-10 to Melbourne.

The Queensland No.1's 127th try - the most of any current player. 

54 min: TRY. That's more like the Billy Slater we know.  What looked like a try bombed has become a four-pointer for the mercurial fullback.  Incredible athleticism to ground the ball before being bundled out.  Melbourne 14-10, kick to come.

53 min: Melbourne edging ever closer

It looks like big Dave Taylor is done for Souths and that's not what Maguire's men need.  Updates as they come.  Calling for the trainers and this will be a huge blow is he's out, even for the night.

52 min: Storm make a bust through O'Neill.  Only the fullback to beat but Farrell does well to bring him down.

Another Melbourne error and Souths sniff an opportunity. 

The Storm have the feed and they'll be grateful for the letoff.  They were scrambling there.

There's not much in it but I suspect we'll see the red light.  Gareth Widdop has done well to force Talanoa into touch.

49 min: Souths metres out again and Talanoa's over.  Definitely having another look at this one, at first glance I think he finds the sideline before the tryline. 

48 min: Another error from the Storm.  Good field position for Souths, 35m out on the first tackle.

46 min: Justin O'Neill almost breaks the line as the Storm attack again.  Dylan Farrell brings it back for Souths.

Souths are looking dangerous.  Billy Slater knocks it back.

45 min: Bunnies get a penalty.  Craig Bellamy won't be happy there as Souths get a welcome piggyback down the field.

Multitasking at its' best here.  It's hard to juggle pad thai and a keyboard but someone has to do it.  Storm with the ball just inside Souths' half.

Michael Maguire was understandably happy with his side's completion rate in the first half, while Craig Bellamy urged his troops to be more clinical.

42 min: The Bunnies are making good ground.  64 metres from this set.  Billy Slater fields the kick but another offload almost costs him dearly.

41 min: Souths get us started for the final 40 mins.

Players are making their way down the tunnel after the oranges.  Second half not far away.

Souths have never won in Melbourne from eight attempts.  They've given themselves a good chance of arresting that record here, and the record of Greg Inglis will inspire them further.  He's only lost down there eight times during his Storm career, and can also boast a lazy 36 tries from those 55 matches.

A cheeky kick over the top from Slater fails to come off and that's it for the first half.  10-10 here at AAMI Park and plenty to think about for both teams. 

Inside the final two minutes of the first half and Souths are 45m out from their own line on the fourth.  Storm will have the final say in the opening term after Sutton sends his kick dead.

But again Matt Duffie has other ideas.  Maybe time for a new tactic.

37 min: Souths on the attack once more.  They can sniff a half-time lead that seemed unlikely not long ago

36 min: Storm back with the ball and they'll be breathing a sigh of relief.  Classy take from Duffie to defuse John Sutton's kick for the corner.

Souths 15m out again, this time through Eddy Pettybourne.

Souths have had 80 per cent of the ball in the last 10 minutes.  And they've made it count.

Billy Slater was the catalyst for that one - the sort of offload he'd land 99 times out of 100 went straight to Fetuli Talanoa.  10-10

33 min: TRY - Spectacular stuff from Sam Burgess who once again shows why he's so central to Souths' hopes.  We're going upstairs but surely he deserves the points just for the dive.  After the Waratahs' match last night that's the second try I've seen scored backwards this week.  Storm 10-8, but it should be 10-10 with a kick to come from dead in front.

32 min: Bunnies on the attack again here after another uncharacteristic Storm error.  They've taken their foot off the pedal a bit in the last 10 minutes.

31 min: No extras for Souths.  Still 10-4.

29 min: TRY - Chris McQueen over in the corner for Souths.  That's two in two matches, and though this one wasn't as spectacular, his side will take the four points.  All courtesy of a Dave Taylor offload.  Storm 10-4, kick to come.

28 min: PENALTY to Souths

27 min: A rare error from the Storm as Gareth Widdop coughs it up metres out from the Bunnies' line

PENALTY to Melbourne - they'll take the tap from 25m out

26 min:  It all comes to nothing for the Rabbitohs - they've been sent backwards.  Storm just their side of halfway as Siosaia Vave takes it up.

25 min: PENALTY to Souths.  Golden opportunity.

Space out wide as the Storm spread it before Justin O'Neill spills it.  Souths with the feed 42m out from the Storm line.  Melbourne still lead 10-0.

Souths pressuring the Storm line before Melbourne go on the counter.  So dangerous.

Pettybourne and Asotasi off for Souths, Scott Geddes and David Tyrrell on.

22 min: PENALTY to Souths.  Is this the opportunity Michael Maguire's men need to get back into the match?

Turnover - and didn't Souths need that?

21 min: Bromwich takes the first hit-up of the return set.

20 min: Duffie breaks the line from the first tackle and sprints clear.  Another early kick from Cronk but it doesn't pay off this time.  Still, it's a line dropout and his side will get another crack at the Bunnies.

19 min: Souths still inside their own half after four tackles.  They were making metres at will in the opening stages.  Kick goes dead and we'll be back to the Storm's 20 for the restart.

It's all going to script here so far at AAMI Park.  Melbourne looking dangerous - Souths won't want to give them much more start.  Smith makes no mistake with the kick to extend the lead to 10-0.

15 min: TRY.  The other corner this time.  Matt Duffie scores from another Slater pass.  8-0 Melbourne.

13 min: Smith hooks it from the sideline.  Score remains 4-0 to the Storm.

11 min: TRY.  Vintage Storm.  Dane Nielsen over in the corner following some handy leadup play from, who else, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater.  Storm 4-0, kick to come.

An early kick from Cronk comes off a Souths player before John Sutton is bundled into touch.  Great attacking opportunity for Melbourne here.

10 min: Storm on the offensive again through Jesse Bromwich.  11m out

8 min:  Billy Slater almost forced back into his own in-goal.

7 min: PENALTY to Souths.  Fetuli Talanoa taken in the air fielding the Storm kick. 

Manu held up over the line, back for the last.

6 min: Fourth tackle, Storm metres out.

Melbourne start their set just on the 50m line. 

5 min: PENALTY to the Storm. 

4 min: Sika Manu finding some good metres for Melbourne.  Spreading wide to Quinn who fights off a few would-be tacklers but it's a turnover.

Looks like a good crowd in at AAMI Park tonight - it's a long weekend in Melbourne.  This is the 18th meeting between these two clubs and the Storm hold the advantage 15-3.

2 min: Cooper Cronk's first touch sees his kick find touch just out from the Souths line. 

1 min: Souths get us under way with the opening set. 

Welcome to the Herald's live coverage of tonight's match between the Storm and the Rabbitohs from AAMI Park in Melbourne.  Both sides will see room for improvement in their opening-round results - the Victorians were made to work hard for their 24-19 win by the Raiders while Souths had the points in the bag with two minutes to play before it all went awry.  Hard to tip against any side boasting the likes of Slater, Cronk and Cameron Smith but the Bunnies' forwards will ensure they have their hands full.

 

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