Melbourne showed why they're top of the NRL ladder as they withstood a second-half South Sydney attacking blitz to hold out for a 14-6 win in Perth on Sunday.
The Rabbitohs had the better of the ball, territory and momentum in the second half but failed to even break the Storm's line as they went scoreless in the second 40.
Instead, it was Melbourne who scored against the run of play through Suliasi Vunivalu with six minutes to play to seal the Storm's ninth victory of the year.
After they went to the break leading 10-6, Melbourne held out 22 play-the-balls in their 20-metre zone in the next half hour at nib Stadium.
Souths had 55 per cent of the ball in the second period, and forced the Storm to make an extra 48 tackles, but the Rabbitohs were forced to finish without chief playmaker Adam Reynolds later due to a concussion.
But based on the preceding 64 minutes before his head knock, it appeared as though it would matter little though as Melbourne's stonewall defence rebounded from the uncharacteristic 38 points they conceded last week against the Gold Coast.
"Our guys had a lot better attitude tonight," Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said.
"We put ourselves under a lot of pressure in the first 20 minutes of the second half but we defended it.
"It wasn't a pretty win but I was really happy with a lot of the traits we displayed."
The Storm's likely Queensland Origin quartet of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Will Chambers were all on song in their final hit-out before the series opener on May 31.
NSW Origin aspirant Robbie Farah had a hand in Souths' only try, darting out of dummy-half to find John Sutton to barrel over in the 15th minute.
But they couldn't cross the line when it mattered most.
Rabbitohs captain Sam Burgess was also left frustrated at halftime when Melbourne failed to have a defender in the halfback position at a scrum on the Storm's line with seconds to play.
He also accused Storm players of putting him in a "choker hold" in a tackle which was not penalised.