BAD BLOOD: MEMORABLE BATTLES FROM THE NRL’S BIGGEST AND MOST BITTER RIVALRY, THE ROOSTERS AND THE RABBITOHS
* Preliminary final 2014 – Rabbitohs 32 bt Roosters 22 at ANZ Stadium
The Roosters roared out to an early 12-0 lead on the back of tries to Mitchell Pearce and Anthony Minichiello in the club’s first finals battle since 1938. But from then it was all one-way traffic with the Rabbitohs scoring 32 unanswered points on the back of forward dominance led by Sam Burgess and Ben Te’o. That sent Souths through to their first grand final since 1971 and their first premiership in five decades.
* Round 26, 2014 – Roosters 22 bt Rabbitohs 18 at Allianz Stadium
Pearce led the way for the Roosters as they dominated the first hour of the contest to race out to a 22-2 lead on the back of tries to Daniel Tupou, Anthony Minichiello and James Maloney.
Souths then scored three tries in 10 minutes after an errant Tupou pass to Issac Luke opened the door for Dylan Walker’s opener, followed up by efforts from Alex Johnston and Lote Tuqiri.
But the Roosters held firm in a frantic final five minutes to again claim the minor premiership after Manly lost the night after to North Queensland.
* Round 26, 2013 – Roosters 24 bt Rabbitohs 12 at ANZ Stadium
With the minor premiership on the line 59,708 packed into the Olympic venue.
In a match full of highlights before the biggest ever stand-alone regular-season crowd, Greg Inglis’ palm on Sonny Bill Williams for the opening try and Anthony Minichiello’s trysaving tackle on a flying Nathan Merritt late in the game were standouts.
In between the Roosters scored two tries in three minutes midway through the second half on their way to the win, and eventually the premiership.
Williams redeemed himself when he smashed through the Souths’ line and offloaded to Mitchell Pearce for the Roosters to open up an unassailable 12-point lead.
* Round 19, 2012 – Rabbitohs 24 bt Roosters 22, Allianz Stadium
In the most stunning comeback of the season, Souths scored two tries in the final two minutes to draw sweet revenge for the Roosters’ round one triumph. The Roosters appeared to have the match sewn up five minutes left when Mitchell Pearce scored a converted try to take the home side’s lead out to 22-12.
Winger Nathan Merritt gave Souths hoped when he scored with 100 seconds remaining and Adam Reynolds swiftly converted. From the re-start back-rowers Dave Taylor and Chris McQueen broke through some poor Roosters defence. McQueen dished off to Merritt who dashed away before handing off to Issac Luke who was surrounded by Roosters defenders. The hooker popped an offload close to the line that bounced up perfectly on the half-volley to Reynolds to score.
The halfback converted from in front to claim the win.
* Round 1, 2012 – Roosters 24 bt Rabbitohs 20, ANZ Stadium
The Roosters completed one of the greatest finishes in 101 seasons of matches between the two clubs to score two tries in the final three minutes to secure a dramatic win.
Souths led 20-12 before Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves scored with two minutes and 22 seconds left.
From the re-start the Roosters ran the ball and after a Mitchell Pearce break, Boyd Cordner grubbered beautifully for fullback Anthony Minichiello to score the match-winner despite the attention of Adam Reynolds.
*Round 19, 2011 – Rabbitohs 21 bt Roosters 20, ANZ Stadium
South Sydney halfback Chris Sandow snapped a 51-metre field goal in the seventh minute of extra time to seal a dramatic 21-20 golden-point victory at the Olympic venue.
The Roosters opening try to Kane Linnett in the sixth minute was cancelled out by a four-pointer from Issac Luke seven minutes later, before a late Shaun Kenny-Dowall touchdown put the visitors up 10-6 at the break.
Souths were down 20-14 with six minutes to go after Roosters winger Sam Perrett managed a second half double and Dylan Farrell returned the favour for the Rabbitohs.
Souths No.1 Greg Inglis levelled up at the scores five minutes from time when he barged past his opposite Phil Graham to set up the grandstand finish.
* Round 1, 2011 – Roosters 40 bt Rabbitohs 29 at Allianz Stadium
A four-try first-half blitz from the Roosters put them ahead 22-6 at the break and when Sam Perrett crossed soon after the game looked over. Four tries in 19 minutes then drew Souths level at 28-all, before a Chris Sandow field got put the visitors ahead with 10 minutes to go.
But the Roosters weren’t done yet, with two late tries to interchange forward Tom Symonds securing the win in a dramatic season-opener.