The South Sydney Rabbitohs have advanced to the Preliminary Finals with a 20-10 victory over the Melbourne Storm in front of a low finals crowd of 21,609 at ANZ Stadium. The Melbourne Storm weren't on their usual game as errors and penalties cost them opportunities.
South Sydney claimed first points as Dylan Farrell finished off a quick spread to the left as Justin O'Neill gifted the Rabbitohs a chance with a dropped ball. Rabbitohs jumped to 6-0 after 9 minutes. Adam Reynolds opted to extend the lead to 8 points with a penalty goal after 20 minutes.
Jeff Lima was a key forward for the Rabbitohs and he efforts were rewarded as he charged over the white line next to the posts thanks to a short pass from Issac Luke. The Rabbitohs in complete control as they led 14-0 after 30 minutes.
Sisa Waqa was denied his try despite managing to ground the ball in goal, there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the on field decision of no try.
The Rabbitohs headed into the half time break 14-0 ahead with just 40 minutes between them and the preliminary finals.
The second half started better for the Storm as the boys from Melbourne found their feet but it wasn't to be as the Rabbitohs held on to claim a 10 point victory.
Will Chambers was instrumental to the Storm's fight back as he set up a four-pointer and scored one of his own.
Billy Slater gave the Storm hope as he slipped through a would-be tackle of Chris McQueen to finally get the Storm on the board after 55 minutes.
The Rabbitohs locked out the Storm in the final 10 minutes as Issac Luke charged over the Storm goal line to secure the Preliminary spot for club from Redfern.
Will Chambers had the final say in the match as he ran through Issac Luke to add his name to the scorers sheet. However it wasn't enough as the Rabbitohs marched on to victory.
Melbourne return home in Week 2 of the finals to host either the Bulldogs or Knights at AAMI Park, while the Rabbtiohs have a week off before hosting the winner of the second semi-final at ANZ Stadium.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 Melbourne Storm 10
Venue: Stadium Australia
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Issac Luke
2 points - Sam Burgess
1 point - Will Chambers
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (20)
Tries: Dylan Farrell, Jeff Lima, Issac Luke
Field Goals: John Sutton (0/1)
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (1/1)
MELBOURNE STORM (10)
Tries: Billy Slater, Will Chambers
Conversions: Cameron Smith (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (0/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Interchange: 10. Roy Asotasi 11. Chris McQueen 16. Jason Clark 17. George Burgess
Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Sisa Waqa 3. Will Chambers 4. Maurice Blair 5. Justin O'Neill 18. Gareth Widdop 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Bryan Norrie 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe
Interchange: 14. Jason Ryles 15. Tohu Harris 16. Jordan McLean 17. Kenneath Bromwich
The Warriors will go on to play the loser of the Panthers v Roosters qualifying final next weekend.
Sam Burgess makes an unforced error.
Sam Burgess comes up with a mistake in a tackle of two Storm defenders. Storm scrum 30m out from the Rabbitohs line
Kevin Proctor makes an unforced error.
Kevin Proctor throws the pass to no one and the Rabbitohs dive on the ball 10 metres off their goal line. A lucky escape for the Rabbitohs
Scored by Dylan Farrell. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
The Rabbitohs clean up a mistake from Justin O'Neill to quickly spread to the left and link with Dylan Farrell who strolled in untouched. The Rabbitohs scoring against the run of play and the Storm unlucky to concede points. Adam Reynolds with the conversion attempt from out wide slots the extras
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
Ryan Hoffman makes an unforced error.
Ryan Hoffman running onto a short pass comes up with a mistake on the run around play. Scrum for the Rabbitohs 15 metres off their own line
Penalty goal attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Adam Reynolds makes no mistake with the conversion of the penalty goal from next to the posts. South Sydney extend their lead to 8 points
South Sydney Rabbitohs 8-0
Billy Slater makes an unforced error.
Billy Slater in a tackle of two Rabbitohs defenders and the ball comes free. Scrum feed for the Rabbitohs 20 metres out from the goal line
Scored by Jeff Lima. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Jeff Lima has been awarded his four-pointer as he dived under the Storm defence on the goal line off a short pass from Issac Luke out of acting half. Adam Reynolds with the conversion attempt slots the extras from in front
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-0
Field goal attempt by John Sutton unsuccessful.
John Sutton snapped an attempt at field goal but it's wide...
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-0
Penalty goal attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.
Cameron Smith with a long range penalty goal attempt is missed.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-0
Chris McQueen makes an unforced error.
Chris McQueen running onto a ball and he drops it as the Rabbitohs looked to spread quickly on the left side of the field.
Scored by Billy Slater. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Billy Slater has slipped through the poor tackle of Chris McQueen to post the first points for the Storm. A wonderful solo run from Slater to dart over for Melbourne. Cameron Smith with the conversion made no mistake to close the gap to 8 points
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-6
Scored by Issac Luke. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Issac Luke off a short pass from Greg Inglis has reached out for the goal line and planted the ball next to the post. Adam Reynolds slots the conversion attempt to make it a 14 point lead
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-6
Scored by Will Chambers. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.
Will Chambers took on Issac Luke in defence and darted over the goal line to plant down the ball. Cam Smith with a quick conversion misses the goal.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-10