One of the most memorable games of 2012 saw South Sydney stun their old foes with two tries in the final two minutes to steal a phenomenal 24-22 win – reversing their Round 1 result when the Roosters had done exactly the same to them!
Trailing 22-12 and still 40 metres out from the try line when the clock ticked over to 78 minutes played, Souths rolled the dice as they put it through the hands to the left, with Chris McQueen breaking through to send Nathan Merritt over between the sticks. Then from the kick-off, big Dave Taylor drew two defenders before sending McQueen clear again, the makeshift winger racing 50 metres before linking up with Merritt and then Issac Luke before his ‘Hail Mary’ pass over his left shoulder was swooped upon by Adam Reynolds to score.
The stunning finish had the crowd going wild, while Fox Sports commentator Warren Smith summed up the thoughts of everyone as he screamed: “You can take me now, I have seen it all!”
As it was, the match had looked anything but an NRL classic at the half-time break, with South Sydney leading 12-4 and looking comfortable thanks to first-half tries to Merritt and Andrew Everingham. The momentum shifted eight minutes into the second half when Souths wasted a golden opportunity to score after Issac Luke broke clear. Instead, having pounced on a loose pass, it was the Roosters that went end to end two plays later, with Tautau Moga racing away to score and BJ Leilua putting his side ahead for the first time when he crossed in the corner in the 65th minute.
The Roosters then appeared to have sealed victory when Mitchell Pearce toed ahead to score, only for their season to be dealt a crippling blow by South Sydney’s late surge.