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Storm superstars Cameron Munster and Ryan Papenhuyzen dug deep into their bag of tricks to continue their ANZAC Day record with a statement 54-20 win over the Rabbitohs. 

Melbourne know how to lift on April 25, having now won eight consecutive ANZAC clashes but Craig Bellamy's men well and truly hit top gear at AAMI Park, running in six tries in the first 36 minutes. 

The win could come at a loss however, with im-form winger Xavier Coates hobbling from the field with a hamstring injury after celebrating a first half hat-trick.

Storm's spine stamped their authority early with Jahrome Hughes chipping the ball in the air for Papenhuyzen who opened the scoring for Melbourne. 

Ryan Papenhuyzen Try

 The Storm added a second try just three minutes later, showing some early confidence when Munster kicked on the first tackle of a set restart and the ball bounced up for Coates to score in the corner.

The Rabbitohs kicked into gear in the 18th minute when Cody Walker sent Jacob Gagai over in the left corner with some nice footwork in the lead up.

Munster and Coates combined again in the 28th minute with the Maroons five-eighth catching Taane Milne out before looping the ball over to hand the in-form winger a double.

Come the 30th minute and Nelson Asofa-Solomona had his side on the front foot after taking the ball 30 metres in his first touch and Nick Meaney carried momentum through to the next play, taking on the line before finding Will Warbrick in support.

Will Warbrick Try

Just three minutes later and another pinpoint kick from Munster on the run sent Coates over for a first half hattrick courtesy of some nice lead up work from Papenhuyzen.

Storm's spine continued to haunt the Rabbitohs and hooker Harry Grant had a try of his own just before the break, scooting out of dummy half and spinning his way over the line to make it six tries for the half. 

Melbourne started the second half like they finished the first and extended their lead 36-4 with Papenhuyzen scooting out of dummy half for a double.

The Rabbitohs however, refused to lie down and Walker once again stood up at five-eighth to hand Gagai a second in the left corner. 

The Rabbitohs were in again seven minutes later, shifting the ball right before Taane Milne powered through fill-in winger Tyran Wishart to reduce the deficit 36-14. 

Taane Milne Try

South Sydney made it three tries in nine minutes when skipper Cameron Murray brought down a Dean Hawkins bomb, silencing the Melbourne faithful.

With no doubt some stern words coming from the coach's box, Storm wrestled back momentum and well and truly iced the game when Munster got a try of his own, sneaking over for his first try of the season.

Wishart was next to cash in on the left edge with Munster bringing up his tally of assists to four before Joe Chan got the final try of the onslaught, pulling down a Hughes bomb to blow the scoreline out 54-20.

Match Snapshot

  • Coates had a superb first-half, running in three tries in 23 minutes however it came at a cost with the Maroons flyer leaving the field in the 34th minute clutching his hamstring.
  • Rabbitohs winger Taane Milne was sent to the sin bin and placed on report in the 80th minute after diving into Cameron Munster's legs late in a tackle.
  • Storm secondrower Eliesa Katoa was placed on report in the fifth minute for a high tackle on Rabbitohs fullback Jye Gray.
  • Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster had a superb outing in the first half with three try assists off kicks and two tackle breaks.
  • Eliesa Katoa got through a mountain of work for Melbourne with 140 run metres, four tackle breaks and 22 tackles.

From the field: Hughes

  • The Rabbitohs missed 40 tackles compared to Melbourne's 19.
  • Deputy fullback Jye Gray was a shining light in a losing side with 188 run metres and two tackle breaks in his second NRL appearance.
  • The Storm have now won their past eight ANZAC Day games.
  • The Rabbitohs have lost all 19 games played in Melbourne.
  • The Storm celebrated their 14th consecutive win at AAMI Park.
  •  Xavier Coates has now scored 28 tries in 22 games at AAMI Park.

Play of the Game 

Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster's kicking game was on point on Thursday night but none were more impressive than the pinpoint punt on the run for Xavier Coates in the 33rd minute. The Maroons playmaker has had a frustrating start to the season after battling a groin injury but well and truly hit his straps on ANZAC Day.

Xavier Coates 3rd Try

What They Said 

"It was very disappointing, especially with the two-week lead in that we've had and the detail in how we wanted to play, especially defensively. It was a myriad, in terms of defensively, that we've practised in and around our ruck and decisions on our edges and we're just not nailing them when the pressures on. 100 per cent it's salvageable, again you see periods of tonight where the team looks like the team we're capable of being, we've just got to buy in and do it for longer periods." - Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou

Rabbitohs: Round 8

"I thought we defended well and played well with the ball in the first half, the first 20 minutes of the second half we probably took our foot off a little bit but we finished strongly. It was a really good performance I thought, there was plenty of energy and intent and I'm really happy with how we played. Hughesy has been on fire the last few weeks, but the other three (spine members) probably played their best games." - Storm coach Craig Bellamy

Storm: Round 8

What's Next

The Rabbitohs will host the panthers at Accor on Thursday to kick-off Round 9 while the Storm head to the Gold Coast to meet with the Titans who will be hot off their first win for the season.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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