A 77th-minute Cameron Munster field goal has actually fired Melbourne to a thrilling 29-28 win over South Sydney and within 80 minutes of another NRL grand last.
In a remarkable begin to this year's last series, the Rabbitohs appeared to have actually clinched an initial last when Cameron Murray controversially stormed over with 9 minutes to go.
But Munster established a line break for Billy Slater then nailed a 31-metre field goal to send out a raucous crowd of 17,306 at AAMI Park into raptures.
The Rabbitohs now wait on the winner of Sunday's removal last in between Brisbane and St George Illawarra in next Saturday's semi-final.
The Storm needed to originate from behind 5 times in a taking in contest, as well as needed to conquer a variety of questionable refereeing choices, to declare the win.
Scores were locked at 18-all midway through the 2nd half when Curtis Scott was punished for a 2nd effort in a take on that caused Robert Jennings crossing not long after.
A Cheyse Blair attempt levelled the game once again, just for a sideline authorities to rule a Josh Addo-Carr forward pass that caused Murray's consent four-pointer.
But Munster's late game heroics guaranteed the Storm stay on track to end up being the first string to protect their crowd in a unified competitors given that Brisbane in 1992-93.
Blair and Suliasi Vunivalu both completed with doubles, while Rabbitohs skipper Greg Inglis did his finest to influence his side to likewise capture a double.
” We were actually delighted with the method it wound up however we were most likely fortunate to win and they were unfortunate to lose – – it might have gone in any case,” Storm coach Craig Bellamy stated.”
“My main emotion is how proud I am of the team tonight.”
Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold said his team were taught a lesson in finals football.
“They showed us in the key moments how to play finals footy,” Seibold said.
“They put us under pressure with it. In some ways we did to them also – we scored five tries, made more metres than them.
“A couple of key moments, one on halftime and one towards the back end of the game … we’ll learn from that.”
It was an explosive start to the final, with both sides, led by Sam Burgess and Felise Kaufusi, trading a number of stadium-shaking hits.
Poor defensive reads by the Rabbitohs, sandwiched by a crunching Kaufusi shot on Sam Burgess, ended in back-to-back Storm tries to Scott and Vunivalu and their first lead.
The visitors regained the advantage on a bizarre 37th-minute Inglis try, where Vunivalu gave up on the play as he appealed for an offload from the ground from Jennings.
But Storm halfback Brodie Croft – a last-minute inclusion for Jahrome Hughes – set up a crucial try with a 70-metre line-break and grubber for Vunivalu on the stroke of halftime.
It appeared the Storm were on their way when George Burgess was sin-binned for a professional foul upon resumption that resulted in a six-point lead.
However the Rabbitohs rebounded with back-to-back tries, only for the Storm to once again prove their big-game experience with another strong finish.
Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds came off with a shoulder injury moments before the break but took the field upon resumption with what was described as a shoulder sprain.
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