Storm finish strong to down Rabbitohs, Ponga punishes ill-disciplined Sharks

By Sports Desk September 04, 2020

Melbourne Storm finished strongly to overpower the South Sydney Rabbitohs 22-16 in a high-quality NRL contest at ANZ Stadium.

With a little over 20 minutes of Friday's contest remaining, Storm trailed 16-10 before Tino Faasuamaleaui finished from close range after fine work from Cameron Smith.

Cameron Munster then showed great skill to go over and put Storm ahead for the first time in the match with 15 minutes remaining, a lead they would not relinquish.

The Bunnies had led by four points at the break with converted efforts from Campbell Graham and Cody Walker answered by Ryan Papenhuyzen and Justin Olam for Storm.

Adam Reynolds kicked eight points, but the Rabbitohs were unable to prevent second-placed Melbourne from reducing Penrith Panthers' lead at the summit to three points. 

In Friday's other contest, Chad Townsend was sent off and three other Cronulla Sharks players were put on report and such a lack of discipline proved costly in a 38-10 thumping at the hands of Newcastle Knights, for who Kalyn Ponga scored a hat-trick.

Townsend saw red for a shoulder charge on Ponga 12 minutes into the second half, while Wade Graham, Toby Rudolf and Braden Hamlin-Uele were cited for lifting tackles.

Starford To'a scored twice, while Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Josh King also dotted down in a resounding seven-try victory Newcastle, who hop ahead of the Bunnies into sixth.

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