Melbourne captain Cameron Smith has kicked the Storm to the top of the NRL ladder after a dramatic 15-14 golden-point victory over South Sydney.
The Rabbitohs went within 60 seconds of recording their first-ever win at AAMI Park on Saturday night before hooker Damien Cook was penalised for a dangerous tackle on Storm fullback Cameron Munster, allowing Smith to nail a 40m penalty goal to level the scores at 14-all as time expired.
Opposing halfbacks Cooper Cronk and Adam Reynolds each missed a field goal during golden-point time before the ever-reliable Smith drilled the match-winner to send the Storm above Cronulla on the table, following the Sharks’ 30-14 defeat to Canberra earlier in the day.
The opening half was evenly matched, with the referees awarding a high number of penalties, including an on-field obstruction ruling on a potential Storm try in the 23rd minute.
Souths centre Aaron Gray also had his four-pointer cancelled over a double movement.
The visitors eventually opened the scoring five minutes before the main break, with Reynolds lobbing a kick into the path of Alex Johnston to touch down out wide.
Reynolds nailed the conversion from the sideline for a 6-0 lead, then Greg Inglis almost doubled the advantage two minutes later, with his angled run cutting through the Storm defence before the video review ruled obstruction.
Melbourne responded immediately after halftime, with Marika Koroibete diving over in the corner to level the scores.
The Storm appeared to click into gear, finally able to break through the Rabbitohs defensive line.
With Jesse Bromwich eating up metres through the middle, the ball went wide for Cheyse Blair to put the home side ahead 10-6.
But the Rabbitohs struck back after a Sam Burgess offload released Greg Inglis deep into Storm territory.
From the next set of six, Reynolds went to the air again for Angus Crichton to score his first NRL try and give his side a 12-10 advantage.
A Smith penalty goal levelled the scores at 12-all but a penalty against Christian Welch for a crusher tackle allowed Reynolds to regain the lead with 10 minutes remaining.
However, the Rabbitohs could not hold on and despite a much improved performance, slumped to their ninth straight defeat.