The Rabbitohs were crowned champions of the second Auckland Nines Tournament after defeating the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18-14 in extra time of the Grand Final early in 2015.
Coming off the back of five successive victories, the Rabbitohs were hot favourites for the Auckland Nines title against the Sharks, especially after securing their two most emphatic victories in the preceding Quarter Final and Semi Final matches.
The Rabbitohs quickly stamped their dominance on the game when Adam Reynolds forced a repeat set from the first set of six. The opportunity was not wasted, as Bryson Goodwin scored out wide courtesy of a Dylan Walker cross-field kick. Reynolds had no issues in adding the extra two points, providing Souths with a 6-0 lead.
Soon after the Rabbitohs scored though, the Sharks crossed for one of their own, with Sosaia Feki beating the red and green defence on the flank to make it 6-4.
With the game in the balance before half time, Chris Grevsmuhl pulled off a remarkable charge-down, regathering the ball and racing 30 metres to score. Reynolds once again added the extras, providing South Sydney with a 10-4 lead at the break.
On the resumption, Reynolds once again highlighted his attacking skill, applying pressure through his tactical kicking game. Despite this, it would be Sharks youngster Valentine Holmes that would open the scoring after the break, making it 10-8 in favour of the men in red and green.
The Rabbitohs bounced back once again, with Cameron McInnes crossing over for a four-pointer right next to the uprights, making the score 14-8.
With the clock winding down, Jack Bird crossed in the corner, providing the Sharks with a chance to level the scores. Holmes slotted the conversion from the sideline, sending the game into extra time.
Despite significant attacking opportunities, the Rabbitohs were unable to capitalise on their initial opportunities. But in a fitting finish, South Sydney was eventually able to secure victory through a try to the returned veteran Matt King.
South Sydney’s dominant display throughout the tournament – which saw them go undefeated – resulted in a number of individual accolades, with Adam Reynolds, Isaac Luke and George Burgess named in the team of the tournament, and Reynolds also collecting the tournament MVP.
Click on the image above to re-live all the highlights.