Adam Reynolds’ field-goal in the 82nd minute secured the Rabbitohs a nail-biting 19-18 golden-point victory at WIN Jubilee Stadium back in Round 11.
It was the second successive extra-time defeat suffered by St George Illawarra after their loss to Penrith the previous round.
The Dragons drew first blood with just three minutes gone when winger Jason Nightingale outleapt Justin Hunt to field a Jamie Soward cross-field kick to score in the right corner. They extended their lead to 12-nil 14 minutes later when Soward scored his first try of the season after some lovely lead-up play from fullback Brett Morris through the centre of the ruck.
However, Dragons fans groaned when Sam Burgess powered over under the posts for an all-too-easy try from close range (29th minute) and winced when Adam Reynolds touched down with just eight seconds of the first half remaining after the Dragons failed to defuse a mid-field bomb. Reynolds’ conversion saw the sides head to the break locked at 12-all.
Matt Cooper seized the advantage for the home side early in the second half, ducking out of dummy-half down the short blindside to surprise the Rabbitohs’ line defenders to make it 18-12 with 48 minutes gone.
The game was all locked up again on the hour when Andrew Everingham beat Brett Morris and Daniel Vidot to grab Adam Reynolds’ grubber kick and score.
As the clock wound down both sides’ playmakers attempted to break the deadlock; however Jamie Soward missed two field-goal attempts, Ben Hornby one and Adam Reynolds two for the bunnies.
Reynolds secured the win two minutes into extra time with a last-tackle snap from 35 metres out.
It was a high-quality contest with both sides completing their sets in excess of 80 per cent and just a combined 47 missed tackles tallied all afternoon.
The Rabbitohs showed more flair, with 11 offloads to the Dragons’ six.
Hooker Issac Luke was a standout for the visitors with 23 runs, six offloads and six tackle-breaks.