The Melbourne Storm returns to its AAMI Park fortress but they won’t have it all their own way against a talented South Sydney Rabbitohs team tonight. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.00pm AEDT.
The Storm has begun season 2012 in typical fashion, registering a tight but convincing 24-19 victory against the Canberra Raiders away from home.
With the Raiders playing at a high level, Melbourne’s famed trio of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith once again managed to secure the competition points last week, despite trailing by a field goal late in the contest.
The Rabbitohs on the other hand will rue how a certain victory against the Sydney Roosters managed to slip from their grasp.
Leading 20-12 with less than three minutes remaining, the Rabbitohs lowered their intensity and allowed their rivals to secure a 24-20 victory right on fulltime.
Although such a loss is difficult to get over, South Sydney will need to be switched on immediately against a Storm side that takes no prisoners down in Melbourne.
Whichever team wins the forward battle tonight will go a long way to securing victory.
The Storm makes do with a workman-like pack that features solid yardage gainers Bryan Norrie, Sika Manu and Ryan Hoffman.
South Sydney on the other hand possess more explosive and dynamic forwards, with Dave Taylor and Sam Burgess in particular renowned for their ability to push their way through the advantage line.
If the Storm manage to dominate upfront, then its no secret that Smith, Slater and Cronk will take control of the contest and tear the Rabbitohs to shreds around the ruck.
It only took a few minutes for Melbourne’s trio to demonstrate how easily they can crack opposition defences last week, as Slater scored early after terrific link-up play between Cronk and Smith.
The Rabbitohs however certainly have the personnel upfront to dominate their Melbourne counterparts, and if they do, John Sutton and Greg Inglis are just as likely to give the Storm huge problems in defence.
Overall, this promises to be a tight contest and could end up being one of the matches of the round.
If the Rabbitohs forwards can maintain their intensity for the full eighty minutes, then they are a good chance of upsetting Melbourne tonight.
The Storm however remain almost impossible to tip against at AAMI Park, and their recent form suggests that they will once a gain find a way to emerge victorious.
Storm by 8.
Will the Storm continue their dominance over the Bunnies, or can Michael Maguire’s men pick themselves up after last week’s late capitulation? It’s Sunday night NRL from 7.00pm AEDT, and we’ll cover it from start to finish with live scores and a blog. Let us know your thoughts in the space below.