The Sharks were headed for a sixth straight loss last Thursday against the Cowboys before waking up in the second half and stealing the visitors' thunder with a 16-14 win.
But while it was a classic never-say-die performance, it remains to be seen if it lights a fire under the Sharks as the battle for the final one or two top-eight spots intensifies.
They will need to raise the bar on Saturday night if they are serious about playing in the post-season.
The Rabbitohs pulled off an incredible last-second win over the Dragons and know they need to keep winning to clinch second spot.
Match: Sharks v Rabbitohs
Round 20 -
Venue: PointsBet Stadium, Sydney
Sharks: Winger Sosaia Feki is out, replaced by Ronaldo Mulitalo, who will line up for just the fourth game of his career. Matt Moylan and Wade Graham retained their spots after getting through training. The Sharks named four forwards on the bench, including Andrew Fifita on his return from suspension. Cronulla have won their past four night games at PointsBet Stadium. Kyle Flanagan and Feki dropped out of the extended squad on Friday and Billy Magoulias and Blayke Brailey were the last two men omitted an hour before game time.
Rabbitohs: The Bunnies are 1-17 with Connor Tracey and Jaydn Su'A the last two men omitted an hour before kick-off. Corey Allen and Dean Britt were cut on Friday. Sam Burgess had his antibiotic line removed on Tuesday and is good to go after missing five matches. Dane Gagai has scored four tries in his past three games.
Match: Sharks v Rabbitohs
Round 20 -
Fullback for Sharks is number 1 Matt MoylanFullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Adam Doueihi
Winger for Sharks is number 5 Josh MorrisWinger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Dane Gagai
Centre for Sharks is number 3 Bronson XerriCentre for Rabbitohs is number 3 James Roberts
Centre for Sharks is number 4 Josh DuganCentre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Braidon Burns
Winger for Sharks is number 20 Ronaldo MulitaloWinger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Campbell Graham
Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Shaun JohnsonFive-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds
Prop for Sharks is number 8 Aaron WoodsProp for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita Tatola
Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Jayden BraileyHooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
Prop for Sharks is number 10 Matt PriorProp for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas Burgess
2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 John Sutton
2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Sam Burgess
Lock for Sharks is number 13 Paul GallenLock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Kurt CapewellInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Liam Knight
Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Jack WilliamsInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Mark Nicholls
Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Andrew FifitaInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Ethan Lowe
Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Braden Hamlin-UeleInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Kyle Turner
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Referee: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Tim Roby
- Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
Young calf Cameron Murray is pitted against old bull Paul Gallen. South Sydney's Murray has been in stellar form all year, while Cronulla captain Gallen wound back the clock in a virtuoso performance last round. These two can set the platform for their teams in the opening exchanges.
For the Sharks to win
They have to come out with an aggressive mindset in attack. Coach John Morris needs to add a couple of wrinkles to the game plan to keep the Rabbitohs guessing in defence. If they can tame the Bunnies up front the Sharks have enough strike power to score an upset. They need to get straight on the front foot and get a good start.
For the Rabbitohs to win
Last week's freakish win against the Dragons would never have come down to the final seconds if Adam Reynolds hadn't missed three shots at goal. Reynolds will be working on his goal-kicking at training, while the Bunnies need to show a little more urgency coming up with loose balls after Cameron McInnes taught them a valuable lesson in desperation last week.
Brett Kimmorley says
This is going to be a cracking game. Andrew Fifita will be back, Sam Burgess looks like being back. We are going to get some big humans returning. Both sides are now starting to push themselves into positions where they will want to be for the finals. I don’t think Wayne Bennett will be overly happy with the form of the Rabbitohs last weekend. Cronulla had a scrappy win last weekend but sometime that’s all you need to get some confidence. Sharks by 2
Damien Cook is renowned for his darts from dummy-half but perhaps overlooked is just how good the Rabbitohs rake is at providing for his teammates. He sits third in the competition for try assists (16) and second for line break assists (13).
And another thing ...
The Sharks and Rabbitohs squared off just once last year, with the Bunnies prevailing 22-14 at ANZ Stadium. But it was never really that close. Souths led 10-2 at half-time and pushed it out to 22-2 before Jesse Ramien (74th minute) and Sione Katoa (75th) scored late tries to make the score more respectable. Tom Burgess scored two of the Rabbitohs' three tries.