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Reynolds stars as Rabbitohs win a thriller against Dragons

Still nursing a suspect shoulder from a week ago, Adam Reynolds kicked three field goals against the Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Sunday to boot the South Sydney Rabbitohs into the NRL preliminary finals where their arch rivals the Roosters are waiting.

In a bizarre final 10 minutes where the lead changed three times, Reynolds emerged the Rabbitohs hero and in doing so a third match in the 2018 Telstra Premiership Finals Series has been decided by one point.

He kicked his first in the 70th minute and then followed with one-pointers in the 77th and 79th minutes to make this victory one for the club's folklore.

On the night that celebrated the Sydney 2000 Olympics opening at the same venue 18 years ago, it seemed almost that long since the Rabbitohs played in a NRL preliminary final.

In fact, it was only four years ago in the Rabbitohs' premiership 2014 season when they met – coincidentally – the Roosters and won 32-22 before beating the Bulldogs in the grand final.

But after the searing physical game, Anthony Seibold's men played eight days ago in their 29-28 loss to the Storm, some doubted they would have the spark needed to subdue the Dragons still on a high after their 30-point win over the Broncos last weekend.

With Souths trailing 10-2 and the Red V were well and truly on top, Reynolds pumped some energy back into the fatigued legs of the Rabbitohs with a try under the black dot in the 59th minute, then a penalty in the space of four minutes.

All of a sudden scores were level at 10-10 and momentum had swung 180 degrees.

Ben Hunt failed with a field goal attempt in the 69th minute but Reynolds succeeded with his a minute later and with 10 minutes left on the clock it was 11-10 to the Rabbitohs.

Reynolds had scored all his team's points at that stage, and in doing so had collated 200 points for the fourth time in his seven-year first-grade career. But he wasn't done for the evening.

After the Dragons grabbed back the lead through a Zac Lomax penalty goal – he kicked four-from-four in Widdop's absence – Reynolds nailed his second field goal to level scores (12-12) and then kicked the game winner.

Immediately after doing so, Reynolds headed to the western side grandstand where the South Sydney members were seated. He didn't care there was still 15 seconds on the clock.

After trading penalty goals early, the two sides settled into the arm wrestle. It stayed 2-2 until Hunt scored a fine 35th-minute individual try because the South Sydney defenders were keeping an eye on Tyson Frizell to the halfback's right.

That allowed Hunt to accelerate through a little gap for his first try in seven weeks – and a very welcome one at that.

The Dragons took a slim 8-2 lead into half-time. But the way the Telstra Premiership Finals series has been going, with two games already decided by a point, it could have been a season-defining lead.

The joint venture team also had a 100% record of winning all 12 games this year when they led at half-time.

But in the opening minute of the second half, they lost hat-trick hero from last weekend over the Broncos in Sims, with a right knee injury. He spent the rest of the match on crutches on the sideline.


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