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Johnston doubles up as Rabbitohs quell Storm

Tryscoring machine Alex Johnston continued his incredible streak as the Rabbitohs downed the Storm 24-12 on Saturday night to register a fourth win on the trot.

With 13 tries in his past six games Johnston now has 157 for his career, including an incredible 79 in 79 games at Accor Stadium.

A penalty against Nelson Asofa-Solomona for a hight shot on Cameron Murray in the opening minute gave the Rabbitohs field position and they made it count with Keaon Koloamatangi charging over for his fifth try of the season.

The Rabbitohs stretched their lead to 10 points in the 28th minute when Johnston stepped around Marion Seve to post his first of the night.

Jumping Johnston

A dropped ball by Grant Anderson in the 31st minute gave Souths another chance to attack and only desperate defence by Seve and Jahrome Hughes denied Johnston a double.

With half-time looming the Storm grabbed a crucial try when Seve produced a long range try from his own side of halfway to make it 10-6 at the break.

Six minutes into the second half it was Johnston grabbing yet another double as he finished off classy lead-up work by Latrell Mitchell.

Speedy Seve

Two minutes later the home side were in again when Koloamatangi busted the Storm wide open and delivered a superb pass to halfback Lachlan Ilias who sprinted 20 metres to score.

Jaxson Paulo was next to hit the scoreboard for the rampant Rabbitohs, crossing in the right hand corner courtesy of some nice work by Mitchell and Jed Cartwright inside him.

The Storm pulled one back in the 64th minute when Kenny Bromwich delivered the final pass for Dean Ieremia to score. Nick Meaney's conversion made it 24-12 but that was as close as Craig Bellamy's men would get.

No-look Try for Ilias

Match Snapshot

  • Nelson Asofa-Solomona was placed on report in the opening minute for a high tackle on Cameron Murray.
  • Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes marked his 100th NRL game with a 40-20 kick in the 16th minute.
  • Cameron Munster came up with a 40-20 in the 53rd minute for the Storm.
  • Siliva Havili and Thomas Burgess were huge off the bench for the Rabbitohs, combining for 310 metres from 32 runs.
  • Storm hooker Harry Grant worked himself to a standstill with 59 tackles.
  • Storm forward Kenny Bromwich left the field for a HIA in the 66th minute.
  • Alex Johnston and Latrell Mitchell had 12 tackle breaks between them for the Bunnies.
  • The Rabbitohs have won nine of their past 10 games at Accor Stadium.
  • The last time the Storm lost four in a row was 2015, when they lost to the Eels, Broncos, Bulldogs and Warriors between round 14 and 18.
  • Kodi Nikorima was sin binned in the 80th minute of the match for a professional foul.
  • Marion Seve enjoyed a career-best night for the Storm with 214 running metres from 16 runs.

Paulo piles on more points

Play of the Game

The magic of Latrell Mitchell was on show in the 46th minute when he delivered a sublime left hand flick pass for Alex Johnston to score yet another try in the left hand corner. With the Storm defending grimly, Mitchell grubbered the ball into Jahrome Hughes' legs, picked up the rebound and composed himself before finding the club's greatest ever tryscorer who flew through the air for his second four-pointer of the night.

Johnston gets a second

What They Said

"I'm really proud of Lachie [Ilias], he's had a lot on his shoulders this year and through the support of our senior group he has handled that really well and he is what we expected and hoped he would become and he is getting better every week. The fact that Cody Walker probably lost a couple of ribs in the first half [in Justin Olam's tackle] probably helped Lachie take a bit more ownership of the kicking tonight. He's a good kicker of the footy so it's important that he owns those moments." - Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou

Rabbitohs: Round 19

"The first half took a lot of energy out of us. If you're going to make errors you have to be able to defend them and at the moment we'll do that 80 per cent of the time but the other 20 per cent we won't. We've lost four in a row now. The first two of those I thought we were really poor but I thought we made some really good steps last week and I thought we had some really good parts of our game tonight but if you keep making errors and you don't back them up with defence you'll lose the game and that's what happened tonight. There's some stuff you're not going to get away with at this level." - Storm coach Craig Bellamy

Storm: Round 19

What's Next

The Rabbitohs take on the Sharks at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday while the Storm travel to Auckland for an emotion charged occasion at Mt Smart Stadium. With so many Kiwis in the Stom line-up the atmosphere is sure to rival what these sides generate on Anzac Day in Melbourne. The Storm won that clash 70-10 in April so the Warriors will have plenty to prove in front of their loyal fans.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour 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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