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Storm win in golden point against Souths

Ryan Papenhuyzen has spared Melbourne’s blushes with an 83rd minute drop goal sealing a heart-stopping 15-14 victory over South Sydney for coach Craig Bellamy in his 500th NRL game.

It was in reply to a stunning two-point field goal from Latrell Mitchell in the dying seconds which pushed the match into extra time for a golden point showdown.

Making his return from suspension, the superstar fullback was mostly disappointing and missed three conversions but he stepped up when it mattered with his kick from 45 metres out sailing through the posts.

The Storm looked like they could start the party early with a dominant first half display, collecting three tries to lead 14-0.

But it all unravelled in the second half as South Sydney surged back into the match, scoring three tries in nine minutes to set up a thrilling finale.

Bellamy said it got ugly after halftime, with two players – Tepai Moeroa and Justin Olam – sin-binned and his team missing 40 tackles for the game.

“We just couldn’t seem to get any decent ball or do much with it,” he said.

“I think we only completed one set in the last 20 minutes of the game so we were under pressure and then for 20 minutes we were a man short.

“I’m not quite sure how we got there at the end; got lucky I guess.”

Souths winger Alex Johnston scored in the 68th minute and Jaxson Paulo crossed with six minutes remaining, with Storm centre Olam sin-binned after repeated Storm penalties.

Campbell Graham’s 77th minute try sent a hush over the Melbourne crowd who were back at their first home game in 321 days.

But Papenhuyzen made certain the champagne corks could start popping and continued the Rabbitohs’ winless streak in Melbourne.

Storm hooker Harry Grant, who along with Cameron Munster missed the first round through suspension, was into everything and topped his team’s run metres and made 40 tackles.

The pair combined for the Storm’s third try when the hooker darted out of dummy half and made an 80-metre charge before offloading to his supporting teammate.

Souths’ attack, meanwhile, looked rudderless for much of the match with veteran halfback Adam Reynolds now at Brisbane.

His replacement Lachlan Ilias kicked out on the full 40 metres out from the tryline, with Papenhuyzen scoring in the next set of six tackles.

Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou said he was proud with how his team stuck at it after the one-sided opening half.

“I’m pretty proud of them. At 14-0 down and with a 50 per cent completion rate in the first half that game could have gone anywhere,” he said.

“The players were keen at halftime to get out and right a few wrongs and we did that.”

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