NRL: South Sydney Rabbitohs fight back to beat Melbourne Storm

  • 04/08/2018

South Sydney have rocketed back into premiership reckoning after beating NRL defending premiers Melbourne 30-20 on the back of an electric performance from Damien Cook.

After relinquishing top spot to the Rabbitohs, the Storm's own title hopes could rest on scans for captain Cameron Smith after he limped off with an ankle injury late on Friday.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy said he was unsure how serious the injury is for Smith.

"I don't think it's too bad. We're not quite sure exactly what it is, he'll have a scan and check in tomorrow," Bellamy said.

"He felt a sharp pain going into his heels. If it was five years ago, he would've played on. But you get wiser when you're older. It was the best thing to do, to come off."

As Smith's night ended in injury, Cook's couldn't have got any better.

A day after Bellamy identified him as the man to fear in their top-of-the-table match, Cook tore the Storm middle to shreds.

He produced the magic moment, in a game worthy of its blockbuster billing, that ended the Storm's eight-game winning streak.

Moments after his ankle was crushed by Nelson Asofa-Solomona, and with his team ahead by only two in the 63rd minute, Cook burned four defenders in a scorching 40m individual effort.

The NSW State of Origin star - and likely future Kangaroos rake - finished the night with a 176m, six tackle breaks and a try assist.

However, the win was soured by a suspected ACL injury to utility Adam Doueihi, while Sam Burgess could also be in trouble for what appeared to be a shoulder charge.

In front of 15,132 fans at ANZ Stadium, Alex Johnston sealed the victory in the 73rd minute, while Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr nabbed a late consolation try.

The win means the Rabbitohs leap over the Storm to reclaim pole position for the minor premiership with four games remaining in the regular season.

Despite a third-minute penalty goal to Adam Reynolds, the Storm were the side who looked likely on the back of a sharp attack that pushed them to an early 10-6 lead.

Dale Finucane crashed over from short range, and was answered by a Hymel Hunt four-pointer before Addo-Carr turned on the afterburners to send Curtis Scott over.

But Cook ensured it was a four-point contest at halftime when he used his own elite speed to set up Burgess near the posts.

There was a referee flashpoint just before the main break when the bunker pressed the wrong button and ruled a try to Campbell Graham, only to be quickly overturned on-field.

Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold was quick to play down the victory.

"We're really pleased with the result, pleased with the performance, there's no doubt about that. We're certainly not getting carried away," he said.  

AAP