The Rabbitohs snatched a thrilling 17-16 golden-point win over the Wests Tigers at Allianz Stadium in Round 5.
Souths scored two tries in the final four minutes to draw level after 80 minutes of regular play before fullback Greg Inglis booted the match-winning field-goal 99 seconds into extra time.
The Tigers started the game in brilliant fashion, fullback Tim Moltzen scoring with just two minutes gone after Benji Marshall created an overlap on the left edge. Amazingly that proved the only try-scoring play of the first half, with the black and whites (as they were here) heading to the sheds with a 4-nil lead at the break.
Souths got on level terms when hooker Issac Luke burrowed over from dummy-half in the 57th minute before that man Marshall weaved some more magic for the home side, sending winger Lote Tuqiri over in the left corner off a wonderful 20-metre cut-out pass for a 10-4 scoreline with 53 minutes elapsed.
Wests Tigers fans were on their feet again 11 minutes from fulltime when Blake Ayshford finished off a right-side sweep for a 12-point buffer that put them in the box seat for the win. But incredibly, Issac Luke managed to catch the Tigers’ marker defence napping for a second time in the match, crossing to make it 16-10 with four minutes left, before Andrew Everingham beat a streak of Tigers to ground a Dave Taylor grubber kick out wide to the right and send the red-and-green faithful into delirium. Their cheers grew even louder when Adam Reynolds calmly piloted over the conversion to draw level on the stroke of fulltime.
Inglis secured the win with a wobbly field-goal (his second attempt) that glanced off the left upright just centimetres above the crossbar.
Souths earned their victory on the back of some stout defence, with team members missing just 15 tackles throughout, compared to 37 by their opponents.
The Tigers dug themselves a hole with some poor discipline, conceding the penalty count 9-5.
Issac Luke was Souths’ star; he made 101 receives, busted 10 tackles and made two line-breaks. Benji Marshall, wearing the No.6 jersey, conjured two try assists for the Tigers.