Melbourne raced out of the blocks and repelled any thoughts of a South Sydney comeback to score a telling 26-8 win at AAMI Park in Round 22 this year.
Riding high after belting Canberra 68-4 a week earlier, the Storm continued to pile on the points with Will Chambers scoring a freakish try after five minutes as he picked up a loose ball, raced in-field and then darted through a yawning gap to make it 6-0.
Just three minutes later, Rabbitohs fullback Nathan Merritt was mauled in a four-man tackle on his own try line and when the ball came loose, Jesse Bromwich was on hand to make it 12-0 inside the opening 10 minutes.
A Cameron Smith penalty goal made it 14-0 soon after, but Souths managed to plug the leaks and put themselves back in the contest on the stroke of halftime when an Adam Reynolds chip found Ben Te’o charging through to score. An early second half penalty goal saw the Rabbitohs close to within a converted try but there would be no more joy for the visitors.
In the 52nd minute, Cooper Cronk threw a remarkable cut-out pass to winger Sisa Waqa who was too strong to hold out after racing down the right touchline. The Storm then produced their double second-man play to the same edge for Justin O’Neill to race away and seal victory.
Souths enjoyed slightly more possession than Melbourne at 51 per cent and ran for 1377 metres to 1278 but couldn’t get the job done with the Storm making four line-breaks to two and adding 11 offloads to six.
Ryan Hoffman was strong for Melbourne with 112 metres and 29 tackles while Cameron Smith chipped in with 46 tackles.
Merritt made 152 metres for Souths.