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Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Predictions & Tips - Champions to make a winning start

  • Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs predictions for Thursday’s NRL match
  • The game is being played at AAMI Park (9.05am GMT)
  • Melbourne Storm begin the defence of their NRL title
  • I'm tipping Storm to edge a tight season-opener
  • Preview, stats, team news & predictions
josh addo-carr
Storm's Josh Addo-Carr has an excellent tryscoring record against the Rabbitohs (Getty Images)
Gary Emmerson 09 Mar 2021
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Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Predictions


The Storm have proven to be something of a nemesis for the Rabbitohs. It is just one win in the last nine NRL clashes for the Bunnies and they are tipped to lose again.

Storm have an eye-catching Round 1 record, as does Josh Addo-Carr in matches against South Sydney.

  • Melbourne Storm have won 7 of their last 8 matches.
  • Melbourne Storm have won 12 of 13 Round 1 matches played since 2008.
  • Melbourne Storm's Josh Addo-Carr has scored 7 tries in his last 7 matches against South Sydney Rabbitohs.
  • Melbourne Storm hold a 28-5 head to head record over South Sydney Rabbitohs.
  • Melbourne Storm have won the last 4 matches against South Sydney Rabbitohs.
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs have lost by 10 points or less in 3 of their last 4 matches against Melbourne Storm.

Head-to-Head 


Melbourne Storm have a dominant record against South Sydney Rabbitohs, winning 28 of 33 previous clashes with the Bunnies.

The Storm won both meetings last season to make it four wins in a row. A 22-8 victory at home was followed by a 22-16 success in Sydney.

Melbourne Storm Form


Melbourne Storm lifted the NRL premiership when last seen in competitive action as they defeated Penrith Panthers 26-20 in the 2020 Grand Final.

Craig Bellamy's Storm side had finished second on the ladder behind the runaway minor premiers, but showed their class in the premiership decider.

In a game of two halves, the Storm led 22-0 at the break in the Grand Final. They added four more points shortly after half-time before the Panthers posted 20 points without reply. 

Storm finished the regular season with a 16-4 record in 2020.

The Storm warmed up for the new season with one trial match in which they defeated Newcastle Knights 30-10. 

Melbourne Storm Team News


Melbourne Storm start the season without hooker Harry Grant (medial ligament strain), lock Dale Finucane (calf) and centre Brenko Lee (hamstring).

Brandon Smith starts at hooker, Nelson Asofa-Solomona is handed the lock role and Reimis Smith is named in the centres for his debut having signed from Canterbury Bulldogs.

Suliasi Vunivalu's defection to rugby union means a starting role on the wing for George Jennings.

Melbourne Storm Team List


1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 14. Chris Lewis 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Nicholas Hynes 18. Darryn Schonig 19. Cooper Johns 20. Trent Loiero 21. Tyson Smoothy

South Sydney Rabbitohs Form


South Sydney finished sixth on the ladder last season after a 12-8 campaign that had threatened to deliver so much more at times.

Wayne Bennett's side dumped Parramatta Eels out of the finals 38-24 before coming unstuck against minor premiers Penrith Panthers, who won the preliminary final 20-16.

In the build up to the new season, Souths have been involved in two trial matches. 

The first ended with a 58-0 for the Bunnies reserves over a combined Group 20 team. They then defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 48-16 in last week's annual curtain-raiser, the Charity Shield. 

South Sydney Rabbitohs Team News


Liam Knight is the Rabbitohs only absentee for the opening round after the prop suffered concussion in the Charity Shield.

New signings winger Josh Mansour and second row Jacob Host have been named for their debuts.

Fellow newboys Jai Arrow and Benji Marshall will make their Bunnies bows from the bench.

South Sydney Rabbitohs Team List


1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Josh Mansour 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Tevita Tatola 11. Jacob Host 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Cameron Murray 14. Benji Marshall 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Keaon Koloamatangi 17. Jai Arrow 18. Patrick Mago 19. Jaxson Paulo 20. Tautau Moga 21. Troy Dargan

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Verdict

You couldn't ask for a better season-opener in terms of blockbuster status. The Storm should continue their near impeccable recent Round 1 record and their dominance over the Rabbitohs. Josh Addo-Carr is value in the tryscorer markets.

Best Bet: Storm Win Match Result @-111.11 at BetMGM - 2 Units
Value Bet: Storm by 1-12 Winning Margin @200.00 at bet365 Sport NJ - 1 Unit
Anytime Tryscorer Tip: Josh Addo-Carr Anytime Tryscorer @-109.89 at Borgata Sports - 2 Units
First Tryscorer Tip: Josh Addo-Carr First Tryscorer @800.00 at 888sport - 1 Unit

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Melbourne Storm v South Sydney Rabbitohs