NRL: Smith kicks field goal in extra time as Storm beat Rabbitohs in thriller

Melbourne Storm hooker Cameron Smith celebrates scoring the winning field goal against the South Sydney Rabbitohs last night at AAMI Park. Photo / Getty Images
Melbourne Storm hooker Cameron Smith celebrates scoring the winning field goal against the South Sydney Rabbitohs last night at AAMI Park. Photo / Getty Images

Just when you think Cameron Smith had already done it all.

When an off Melbourne Storm needed a hero last night, Smith answered the call not once but twice.

In one of the great all-time escapes, Smith slotted a 39m penalty goal right on full-time to level the match.

Then, in golden-point, the Storm skipper craftily ducked out of dummy-half and slotted a field goal that denied a shattered South Sydney the upset of the season.

It had never won in Melbourne in 18 years and lost by 50 points to Canberra last week.

It also came into last night's game on an eight-game losing streak.

Despite all that, it served it up to Storm and probably deserved to win.

Melbourne's 15-14 win, which delivered it top spot on the NRL ladder, was not a great performance by any stretch.

Storm uncharacteristically lacked composure at some key moments in the face of outstanding defensive pressure.

Smith, however, never blinked and that's what makes him great.

"Smithy stepped up and it was a great kick under pressure," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.

"And then to kick that field goal, that's why he's paid the big money I suppose to realise the two markers went the way they did and then kick it as well.

"That's why he is a special player.

"We were very lucky tonight but there were a couple of big plays by Cameron that got us home."

Smith said he knew he could make the long-range kick to send the game into golden point.

"I was very confident I was going to get the distance, it was just about getting them through the sticks and there was a little bit of breeze there," Smith said.

"But that's my job; I'm the goal-kicker and I practice that three times a week, so that's what I do."

It was a stalemate early in the contest before An Adam Reynolds kick-off found Alex Johnston in the corner for the first try of contest.

The Rabbitohs scored again right on half-time, but the try was disallowed for obstruction.

To the shock of the home crowd, Storm trailed 6-0 at the break.

It was the first time this season Melbourne had been held scoreless in the first half.

Storm has the best completion rate in the league but it completed just 14 of 20 sets in the first 40 minutes.

Keen to make amends, Storm levelled the match not long into the second half when a Cameron Munster cut-out pass found Marika Koroibete in the left corner.

Storm soon took the lead through in-form centre Cheyse Blair, who also scored down the left side.

The match continued to see-saw with the Bunnies retaking the lead through a Angus Crichton try before a Storm penalty goal levelled the match with just under 20 minutes remaining.

A Rabbitohs penalty goal but the visitors up by two point before Smith weaved his magic.

Melbourne 15 (C Blair M Koroibete tries C Smith 3 goals C Smith field goal) beat South Sydney 14 (A Crichton A Johnston tries A Reynolds 3 goals) in golden-point extra time at AAMI Park.

Referees: Chris Sutton, Grant Atkins.

Crowd: 13,569.


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