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Lightning strikes twice: Re-living the 2014 Preliminary Final

One of Australia's biggest and oldest rivalries is set to ignite once again, as the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Rooster prepare for another do or die Preliminary Final.

Four years on from the last Preliminary Final, the Rugby League community has once again been graced with another mouth-watering elimination clash between 'Footy's' oldest clubs.

When the two sides met in 2014, they both finished first and third respectively. Fast forward four years and the two finished the season in exactly the same fashion.

With that famous game in mind, let's take a trip down memory lane and re-live one of the Club's great victories over the tri-colours in recent history.


The Build Up


Falling twice at this stage the previous two years before, the anticipation for this Preliminary Final was higher than ever, as the red and green faithful eagerly awaited what they hoped would be third time lucky, in the team's quest to break the infamous 43-year premiership drought.

Amazingly, the two historic clubs hadn't met in a final since 1938, where the tri-colours won 19-10 in front of 14,000 at the Sydney Cricket.

The 76-year wait had clearly helped build the hype for this almighty clash, as a solid 50,000 spectators strolled into ANZ Stadium.

Both sets of supporters were split right down the middle, which created an electric atmosphere that added another dimension to the pulsating on-field action.


A fiery affair

Any talk of the fierceness of this encounter dwindling in the modern era was quickly put to bed, as both looked to grab the ascendancy through hard-hitting aggression and bulldozing runs.

Neither side wanted to give the other any breathing space and looked to get the edge whichever way they could.

The match was always expected to heat up but players out on the field made sure the standard of play lived up to the expectation.


GI's double

In his 200th game in the NRL, fullback Greg Inglis was on a mission to send his side to a Grand Final.

Starting off the match in his usual damaging fashion, Inglis helped seal the victory for the Red and Green with a textbook double.

The first wasn't the most spectacular but epitomised the killer instinct of the number 1, who took advantage of some sleepy Roosters defence.

The second four-pointer was an effort that fans of Rugby League were more accustomed to.

Having had his pocket picked in the first half by Roosters veteran fullback Anthony Minichiello, who beat him to the punch in the first half with a leaping effort, Inglis responded with his own emphatic try.

Ray Warren

"Up he goes, down he comes, he's got a try here of spectacular proportions!"

Leaping high, Inglis out jumped two Roosters defenders to put the game to bed and send South Sydney to their first Grand Final in 43-years. 


Forever in our shadow

In the end, the result was clear (32-22), down by 12 points early on the Rabbitohs went on to score 32 unanswered points, as they never gave up and continued to bombard the Roosters resilient defence.

The match marked Souths return to the pinnacle of Rugby League as they overcame the reigning Premiers before famously going on to claim the crown a week later.

When the two sides met in 2014, it epitomised everything a traditional rivalry stands for and we're expecting lightning to strike twice this weekend when history repeats itself.


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