The 10 most memorable Roosters v Rabbitohs clashes

On the eve of Saturday night's mouth-watering showdown between South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters, NRL.com recalls 10 memorable battles between the long-time foes. Remarkably, Saturday's clash will be just their third finals duel in history.

2014, Preliminary Final – Rabbitohs 32 defeated Roosters 22

Incredibly, this match was the first finals meeting between the two clubs in 78 years. The minor premiership-winning Roosters shot out to an early 12-0 lead before Souths took control. A monumental stint from Sam Burgess and second-half rampage from Ben Te'o propelled the Bunnies to five unanswered tries and a convincing 32-22 win.

2015, Round 2 – Rabbitohs 34 defeated Roosters 26

Souths bolted to a 12-0 lead before the Roosters scored four unanswered tries to be up 22-12 early in the second half. A George Burgess barge-over try started the comeback before Shaun Kenny-Dowall swung the match the Roosters' way again. Tries to Alex Johnston and Joel Reddy put Souths up 28-26 with 10 minutes remaining before Issac Luke darted over one minute from time to seal a thrilling 34-26 triumph.

2011, Round 19 – Rabbitohs 21 defeated Roosters 20

Before Michael Maguire and Adam Reynolds, before Greg Inglis was a fullback, this enthralling round-19 clash was sealed by a booming 50-metre Chris Sandow field goal. After 87 minutes of a contest in which the Roosters outscored their opponents four tries to three, an Eels-bound Sandow stepped up to break the Roosters' hearts with one of the longest match-winning one-pointers in recent memory.

Former Rabbitohs halfback Chris Sandow after sinking the Roosters with a 50m field goal in 2011.
Former Rabbitohs halfback Chris Sandow after sinking the Roosters with a 50m field goal in 2011. ©NRL Photos

2012, Round 1 – Roosters 24 defeated Rabbitohs 20

In one of the most unbelievable finishes to any game of the NRL era and certainly for Rabbitohs-Roosters games, two tries to the Tricolours in the final two minutes stole a remarkable win. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves carried four defenders over the line with barely two minutes and then on the final play of the game, Mitchell Pearce linked with Mitch Aubusson, who found a supporting Boyd Cordner. The future club captain grubbered ahead for retiring skipper Anthony Minichiello to race onto the match-winner and send the Roosters into raptures.

2012, Round 19 – Rabbitohs 24 defeated Roosters 22

In a perfect piece of rugby league symmetry, this time it was the Roosters leading comfortably before two Rabbitohs tries in the dying moments stole a miraculous 24-22 win. When Mitchell Pearce finished off a superb team try to make it 22-12 with around four minutes left the contest looked over. But Nathan Merritt scored and the Rabbitohs had 50 seconds to complete the miracle comeback. Rookie Adam Reynolds was on the end of some freakish lead-up play, skipping over for the match-winning try.

Souths halfback Adam Reynolds scores the match-winning try against the Roosters in 2012.
Souths halfback Adam Reynolds scores the match-winning try against the Roosters in 2012. ©NRL Photos

2002, Round 1 - Roosters 40 defeated Rabbitohs 6

After two years in the rugby league wilderness, the Rabbitohs' much-publicised return to the NRL wasn't one of triumph, as the Roosters mercilessly spoiled the party in the form of a 40-6 thrashing. Brad Watts crossed for the Bunnies' only try after the Roosters led 26-0 at half-time.

Former Roosters back-rower Craig Fitzgibbon scored 16 of his team's 40 points against the Rabbitohs in 2002.
Former Roosters back-rower Craig Fitzgibbon scored 16 of his team's 40 points against the Rabbitohs in 2002. ©NRL Photos

1938, Semi-final - Roosters 19 defeated Rabbitohs 10

Despite finishing second on the ladder, the Rabbitohs couldn't keep up with the fourth-placed Roosters in the sudden death semi-final, going down 19-10 in front of a crowd of 14,161. Andy Norval scored two tries for the Roosters, while Dick Dunn, Max Nixon and Henry Pierce also crossed.

1968, Final round - Rabbitohs 24 defeated Roosters 22

With the minor premiership on the line, the Rabbitohs rose to the occasion, turning a 14-11 half-time lead into a 24-22 victory. Souths five-eighth Dennis Pittard stole the limelight with two tries in five minutes. The Bunnies went on to beat Manly 13-9 in the grand final.

1996, Anzac Day - Roosters 62 defeated Rabbitohs 0

Winger Peter Jorgensen collected a hat-trick of tries and Ivan Cleary finished with a personal tally of 22 points in the Roosters' 62-0 rout of their cross-town rivals. The thrashing was the heaviest in Souths' proud history before being eclipsed by a 66-0 loss to the Warriors in 2006.

1973, Round 6 - Rabbitohs 16 defeated Roosters 15

With controversy still smouldering after the Roosters lured stars Mike Cleary (1971) and Ron Coote ('72) away from the Rabbitohs, the Clive Churchill-coached Bunnies snatched a 16-15 win at the SCG with Bob McCarthy's clutch field goal. Souths then beat the Chooks 19-17 in the round 17 meeting at Redfern Oval, with Eric Simms scoring a try and kicking 5/5 goals.