When Greg Inglis and Bryson Goodwin went down in our round 13, 2014, clash while trailing the New Zealand Warriors, the men from Redfern did what all champion teams have an uncanny knack for - they found a way to win.
The 20,267 crowd went silent as GI's leg was crushed under teammate Sam Burgess during a tackle on Manu Vatuvei. Critics in the media had written about Souths inability to win without their star fullback and as he limped off there was a trepidation spreading across the Rabbitohs faithful a NIB Stadium.
But the Rabbitohs found their way in the form of a Dave Tyrrell double, along with two tries to Dylan Walker and one each to Kyle Turner and Joel Reddy to seal a memorable 34-18 victory over the Warriors in front of a record-setting Perth crowd.
Tyrrell's two tries in the match doubled his career try-scoring tally as the Rabbitohs mounted a comeback after trailing 14-6 early in the second half. Although, Dave credits his Superman effort to the ability of hooker Issac Luke, who assisted both the prop's tries.
"Mate, I'm going to praise Issac Luke - he set me up for two. I owe it to 'bully'," smiled Dave in his post-match reaction.
"I've scored four tries in my career, so I doubled my try-scoring record. I'm over the moon, I don't know how to feel I'm just trying to absorb the moment with the boys - they're all geed up for me.
"We showed a lot of character, blokes went down but everybody knew their role."
Second-rower Chris McQueen, who played on the wing to cover Goodwin, spoke about the belief in the squad when interviewed from the tunnels of NIB Stadium after the match.
For second-rower Chris McQueen, who shifted to the wing to cover Goodwin, it was merely a case of 13 on 13 football. He describes how there was never a drop in belief from the men in Red and Green despite facing adversity on the night.
"We obviously talked about the injuries out on the field and how we were up against it, but we still had 13 capable players on the field," said Chris McQueen.
"If we've got 13 players out on the field we can do anything.
"A win like that builds confidence, it was talked about in the past that the team couldn't win without Greg but we definitely proved that we could."
Match report originally posted on Rabbitohs.com.au on June 7, 2014.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have recorded a gutsy victory against the New Zealand Warriors in Perth this evening (Saturday), defying a strong Warriors line-up and a mounting injury toll to take the points by 34-18.
In a match that will be remembered for the display of sheer guts and determination from the Rabbitohs perspective – as well as the ground record 20,267 crowd – the Rabbitohs lost the services of Greg Inglis and Bryson Goodwin for the night, while also momentarily losing Jason Clark and George Burgess, forcing a re-shuffle in Michael Maguire's side that ultimately stood to defeat the New Zealanders after the visitors led at half time.
The Warriors were the first to draw blood, when winger David Fusitu'a got on the outside of the Rabbitohs' defensive line before skilfully managing to stay within the field of play to plant the ball over the line despite the best efforts of John Sutton.
From the ensuing set, Warriors front-rower Suaia Matagi broke clean through the Rabbitohs line before drawing in Greg Inglis and passing on to Shaun Johnson who raced over to score. Johnson converted his own try to make it ten points in nine minutes.
A Manu Vatuvei error on a high ball inside his own 10 metres allowed the Rabbitohs their first real attacking opportunity with 15 minutes gone, but while John Sutton was valiant in his effort to power through the Warriors defensive line, his ball handling robbed him of the four points.
After being outplayed in the opening stages of the match though, the Rabbitohs' composure got them back into the match when after a string of repeat-sets on the Warriors line, Dylan Walker danced his way through from short range to open the red and green account for the night. Adam Reynolds converted to make it 10-6 in the Warriors' favour.
The Rabbitohs continued to build pressure, and with a minute and a half left in the first half, Bryson Goodwin took a kick just before the in-goal to almost score. But the Perth product's arm was deemed to have gone out before he could plant the ball.
Souths fans collectively held their breaths as Greg Inglis left the field on the ensuing set with a leg injury after the Rabbitoh's attempted tackle on Manu Vatuvei – rounding out the first half.
The Rabbitohs' injury woes continued on the resumption, when Bryson Goodwin – who had shifted to fullback to cover the loss of Inglis – left the field after his arm was caught awkwardly in a tackle. The injury caused a major re-shuffle of the Rabbitohs' line-up, with Chris McQueen shifting out to the wing, Kyle Turner moving into the centres and Dylan Walker to fullback.
The effects of the reshuffle showed immediately when Warriors skipper Simon Mannering crossed out wide to make it 14-6.
Despite the growing injury toll, Dylan Walker again danced through the Warriors defence, this time racing an extra 20 metres and stepping to score under the posts for his second of the night. Reynolds added the extras to make it 14-12 in the Warriors' favour.
The Rabbitohs continued to gather pace, with the ensuing attacking raids allowing Kyle Turner to barge over from next to the touch-line to take the lead for the Rabbitohs for the first time in the night at 16-14.
With 11 minutes left, a deft pass from Issac Luke to Dave Tyrrell put resident Superman Dave Tyrrell through for his first four-pointer of the season under the sticks. Adam Reynolds converted to make it 22-14.
But anyone who thought there would be any let-up from the men in red and green were about to be proved wrong again, when the Rabbitohs went on the attack through an Adam Reynolds cross-field kick that landed in the hands of Joel Reddy who stepped through to score – all but defeating the Warriors psychologically. Reynolds made no mistake with six minutes remaining at 28-14.
Dave Tyrrell then bagged a rare try-scoring double inside the last four minutes before Adam Reynolds added the extras to make it 34-14.
A late try to Konrad Hurrell was too little too late for the Warriors – the Rabbitohs recording a famous victory.
Rabbitohs 34 (Dylan Walker 2, Kyle Turner, Dave Tyrrell 2, Joel Reddy, tries; Adam Reynolds 5 goals)
Warriors 18 (David Fusitu'a, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering, Konrad Hurrell, tries; Shaun Johnson 1 goals)