The Rabbitohs handed the Storm their fourth straight defeat in a 24-12 win inspired by a masterclass from Latrell Mitchell and another brace from Alex Johnston.
The Rabbitohs scored five tries to two with Mitchell, the difference between the two sides, despite a bold display from Cameron Munster.
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Mitchell set up Johnston for his 12th try in six games to extend Souths’ lead.
Marion Seve scored a try from long range just before the break after some poor defending from Cody Walker to bring the Storm back into the fight.
Mitchell then produced a brilliant pass to put Johnston above another brace to get 79 tries in 79 games at the Accor Stadium.
Koloamatangi then set up Lachlan Ilias, who produced a classy finish to push the Souths lead to 14 points.
Jaxson Paulo finished his attempt in the corner to join in the fun after another cut pass from Mitchell created space.
Dean Ieremia dove into the corner after some Munster magic to sniff out the Storm before the final 15 minutes, but it was too little too late as the Bunnies moved into the top six.
Here are the main takeaways from the game.
LATRELL MAGIC GUIDES THE SOUTH TO THE TOP SIX
It was billed as the battle between superstars Latrell Mitchell and Cameron Munster and while the Storm five-eighth was excellent, the Souths full-back proved the difference in the end.
Mitchell finished with 60 yards rushing, four tackle busts, two offloads, a line break, two line break assists and three assists in a superb display.
The Souths’ No.1 produced a kick from zero tackle that nearly resulted in a 100-yard try for Johnston, but it was his lightning pass for his winger’s second that impressed commentators.
Mitchell got his grubber charged, before scooping the ball up and producing a brilliant pass to put the ball on a tray for Johnston.
“Absolutely gorgeous from Mitchell,” said Dan Ginnane.
“Alex Johnston finishes it off, but Mitchell’s skill is just outrageous.
“Sometimes you just have to pause and make sure what you’ve seen is real.”
Greg Alexander believes Mitchell has skills few NRL players can replicate.
“Only Latrell after burying the ball in Marion Seve’s legs, he picked the ball up and made sure Johnston was to the side and in position for the pass,” Alexander said.
“The left-handed film was magnificent. He picked it up off the ground and foiled Sève’s tackle.
“It’s magic, just magic and there aren’t many players in the competition who can do something like that.”
EXPOSED STORM ACHILLES
Cameron Munster tried hard all night, but the Storm shot themselves in the foot to lose their fourth game in a row, with the same old issues lingering.
The Storm have been torn to their edges, with their full-scale defense sometimes a real problem this season, but it was their mistakes and discipline that cost them any chance of winning the game.
Cooper Cronk has praised Harry Grant for his creativity, but believes the Storms were their worst enemy against the Rabbitohs.
“The first try was due to back-to-back Storm penalties that got Koloamatangi there,” Cronk said.
“The others were just mistakes in crucial positions.
“If they can reduce their discipline and their mistakes, they will give themselves a chance.
“Harry Grant is the key. He always looks creative with his dummy half.
Corey Parker has implored the senior Storm players to take control with such a large injury room at the club.
“Given their injuries, they need their senior players to really stand up,” Parker said.
“That doesn’t mean they didn’t have crack.
“Some of the younger or less experienced players lack confidence. They’ve lost four in a row, so they’re down.
JOHNSTON ANOINTED KING OF ACCOR
Alex Johnston scored another brace against the Storm to take his record at the Accor Stadium to a remarkable 79 tries in 79 games at the venue.
The two tries took his total to 13 in the last six games only to continue his charge towards a third consecutive NRL scoring record.
“He’s the king of the Accor stadium,” Cronk said.
“This guy scores tries for fun every time he comes to Accor. 79 tries in 79 games.
“He’s scored nine tries in his last four games and the reason Isaiah Tass shines Johnston’s shoes is because every time he gets the ball down that left flank he uses his speed and acceleration and just his finishing ability to put the ball down.
“He’s on fire right now.”
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The South Sydney Rabbitohs host the Melbourne Storm in a blockbuster clash at the Accor Stadium.
Souths skipper Cameron Murray is back after a blow to the head, while Damien Cook returns after being rested after Origin III.
Davvy Moale moves from lock to bench and Siliva Havili from hooker to pin, while Daniel Suluka-Fifita moves to 18th man.
The versatile Jed Cartwright enters the starting lineup at center, with Taane Milne dropping out.
For the storm, Nick Meaney moves from wing to fullback after Ryan Papenhuyzen’s injury ended the horror season.
Utility Tyran Wishart comes on the bench, with Grant Anderson returning from an elbow injury on the wing.
Tom Eisenhuth joins the bench, Jordan Grant dropping out.
The battle between in-form superstars Latrell Mitchell and Cameron Munster will be worth the price of admission alone.
The seventh-placed Rabbitohs must win to cement their place in the top eight, while the Storm must desperately prevent a fourth straight loss to stay in touch with the top four.
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