Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs: Start time and how to watch
The 2021 NRL season kicks off in style with a battle between premiers Melbourne Storm and fellow title fancies South Sydney.
This mouth-watering season-opening clash is being billed as the battle of the super coaches in Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett. What better way to start the 2021 campaign than with a blockbuster between two heavyweights of the competition?
Be warned, there will be plenty of cobwebs to dust off. But it's just exciting to have the NRL season roaring back to life again. There are plenty of fascinating match-ups, none better than Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell against the Storm's Clive Churchill Medallist Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback.
When is Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs?
This match kicks off at 8:05pm AEDT on Thursday 11 March at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Check out the full 2021 NRL season draw here.
How to watch Storm vs Rabbitohs live
You have a few options to watch this match, including free-to-air television on Channel 9. Foxtel iQ, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports are also options. We have a full viewing guide for the NRL season here.
There's a few differences between Nine and Fox Sports coverage. First is that Nine has ads (get ready for repetitive MAFS), while Fox is ad-free during games. Kayo also has several more interactive viewing features unlike Nine. They also have completely different commentary teams.
The colour commentators can differ for each game or round, but the play by play caller is a lot more consistent. Channel 9 runs Matt Thompson, Peter Psaltis and Ray Warren. While Fox rotates Andrew Voss, Dan Ginnane, Warrent Smith, Matt Russell and Brenton Speed.
Live stream NRL on Kayo: Start your 14-day FREE trial now
Stream Storm vs Rabbitohs on Kayo Sports
Kayo Sports has every single regular season game for 2021 live and in HD. If you are yet to check it out, new customers get a 14-day free trial.
Once you decide to sign up, Kayo costs $25 a month and you can watch the action on two screens or devices at once. There is also a premium option for $35 a month which gives you an extra screen. You can check it all out in our Kayo Sports review.
Unlike other broadcasters, Kayo has a wide range of special features. They include SplitView, which lets you watch four sports at once on the same screen. Interactive Stats, No Spoilers, Key Moments and choose your own camera are also options.
Kayo is compatible with Macs and PCs, plus iOS and Android devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Telstra TV, Sony Bravia TV and Samsung TV (2017 or later).
Storm vs Rabbitohs team lists
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. Nicho Hynes 18. Darryn Schonig 21. Tyson Smoothy
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Josh Mansour 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tom Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Tevita Tatola 11. Jacob Host 12. Jaydn S'uA 13. Cameron Murray 14. Benji Marshall 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Keaon Koloamantangi 17. Jai Arrow 18. Patrick Mago 19. Jaxson Paulo
Who will win Melbourne vs South Sydney?
Never bet against the Storm in round one. In an incredible streak, they haven't lost a season-opening match since 2004. There is also the fact a South Sydney side has never beaten the Storm in Melbourne.
It's a new era for the Storm without their talisman Cameron Smith but they have two excellent back-up hookers in Harry Grant and Brandon Smith. Grant (knee) and lock Dale Finucane (hamstring) miss this match through injury. Brandon Smith will wear the number 9 jersey and Nelson Asofa-Solomona shifts to the back of the scrum.
The Bunnies are pretty much at full strength. Recruits Josh Mansour and Jacob Host have been named to start while Jai Arrow and Benji Marshall will come off the bench. It's a tough game to pick, with both sides blowing away their opposition in their only trial game.
Melbourne's superb record in season-opening matches gives them the edge and they are always difficult to beat at home, even with a crowd limited to 50% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. Storm by 8 points.
Want to know how many times you can watch your team for free this season? We've broken down every NRL teams free-to-air breakdown here. Kayo now has a completely free mode. Have you heard about Kayo Freebies?.
Image source: Kayo Sports website