The last time Canterbury clashed with South Sydney, the aftermath nearly derailed their NRL season.
But now they hope to use Friday’s grand final replay at ANZ Stadium as a springboard to another charge at the title.
Three Bulldogs players, including skipper James Graham, copped suspensions from the now infamous Good Friday meeting and Des Hasler’s side went into a form slump, losing four of their next five games.
Graham was rubbed out for four weeks for a tirade at referee Gerard Sutton as well as dangerous contact after he crashed into Souths halfback Adam Reynolds’ legs during a charge down.
David Klemmer also missed the next three games for dissent, Sam Kasiano a fortnight for dangerous contact while Brett Morris missed two months after he suffered a hamstring tear in the final play of the heated game.
Centre Josh Morris acknowledges their season could have turned out differently but refuses to make excuses for the fact they are fighting to stay in the eight.
“I think both sides took a big toll out of (our last meeting),” Morris said.
“Losing Reynolds as well for them and the injuries and suspensions we copped in that game certainly didn’t help our season.
“You can’t make that excuse now, it’s 20 rounds or something since that game.”
Sitting in seventh with three weeks to go, the Dogs say a win over the premiers would give them the impetus they need to make a late run.
They charged into the grand final from seventh last year and the Rabbitohs clash promises to be a key guide to their chances in 2015.
Halfback Trent Hodkinson expects added feeling in Friday’s clash.
“It’s always a tough game up against the Rabbitohs, the Good Friday clash was a big game,” Hodkinson said.
“We’re looking to hopefully get one back on us. It’s important to win this time of year.
“It’s only three games to go and everyone needs the points in the bottom half of the eight.”