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The 2013 NRL season will open with a Roosters-Rabbitohs blockbuster at Allianz Stadium on Thursday, March 7.

The two foundation clubs and traditional rivals will kick-off the season, with the game also set to herald the return of Sonny Bill Williams to the NRL.

The Thursday kick-off follows the hugely successful season opener between the Dragons and Knights which set records with television ratings and also became the number one trending topic around the world on twitter.

The Rabbitohs finished just one game short of the Grand Final in 2012 and the South Sydney faithful are sure to have high expectations, while the Roosters have welcomed some high-profile new recruits, a new coach and are expecting to bounce back from a disappointing season.

The foundation clubs were involved in two almost identical astonishing games in 2012 that saw the winning team score two tries in the final three minutes to steal seemingly impossible victories from the jaws of defeat.

The Roosters shocked the Rabbitohs in a dramatic Round 1 clash when they scored two tries in just as many minutes to pinch a victory at ANZ Stadium in an entertaining last ditch play that saw Anthony Minichiello latch onto an improbable kick from forward Boyd Cordner.

Round 1 Roosters steal it - watch it here.

The return fixture was just as, if not even more remarkable as the Rabbitohs returned the favour in spades to their bitter cross-city rivals in almost identical circumstances.

Trailing by 10 with two minutes on the clock, South Sydney scored to give themselves a chance and then traveled 90 metres from the ensuing kick-off to score the most dramatic of game-winners.

Round 18 miracle comeback - watch it here.

Four of the last five games between the two rivals have been decided by four points or less. Can these two teams repeat the dose to kick-off the 2013 season?

The first 20 rounds of the NRL season will be released first in full tomorrow on at 11am.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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