Souths prevailed 26-24 in a golden-point thriller at ANZ Stadium in Round 24 last season.
A clash that involved controversy, tremendous skill and a remarkable comeback was finally decided three minutes into extra time when Cowboys hooker James Segeyaro was penalised for attacking the head of Souths hooker Issac Luke – giving Chris Sandow the opportunity to slot the winning goal from 37 metres out.
But it didn’t look like it would be the Rabbitohs’ night for much of the contest. Despite opening the scoring early when John Sutton collected the scraps of a James Roberts bomb to cross, then cancelling out Johnathan Thurston’s reply to lead 12-6 thanks to another try from a kick, North Queensland soon built a match-winning 24-12 lead as the clock ticked inside the final 10 minutes.
Matt Bowen was instrumental to their cause, having a hand in tries to Tariq Sims and Willie Tonga and scoring one of his own when he barged over the line in the 60th minute.
However, just when the contest looked over, Souths found something extra.
Roberts found extra space out wide to score a clever try and narrow the gap to six before Sandow intercepted a Thurston to race upfield. He was eventually dragged down short of the line, but the Rabbitohs kept a level head as they spread the ball wide for Chris McQueen to score in the corner. Sandow then nailed the sideline conversion to level the scores and send the game into extra time.
Souths hooker Luke was inspirational for the home side, making 32 tackles and 142 metres, while James Tamou added 159 metres, 30 tackles and eight tackle-breaks for the Cowboys.