A Fairy Tale Finish
In 2009 Scott Geddes was named South Sydney's Clubman of the Year; also known as the 'Good Bloke of the Year' award. In large part it was due to his sportsmanship, effort and impact on the squad off the field. But it was his round 26, last-second try against the Cronulla Sharks to win Craig Wing and David Fa'alogo's last game in the Red and Green that sealed the award for him.
Geddes, who was playing his milestone 100th match for the Rabbitohs, crashed over with nine seconds left in the contest to snatch the lead from Cronulla and claim the 26-24 victory. Wing took the last conversion attempt and, although he missed the kick, had Geddes to thank for what he calls "a fairy tale finish right on the bell".
With neither team able to qualify for finals that year it was all about pride for the two clubs. Played on a Saturday night at Shark Park, the feud boiled over quickly as Paul Gallen was sin binned in the 30th minute before, only minutes later, Sharks hooker Terence Seu Seu and Rabbitohs back Jamie Simpson went toe-to-toe in a fiery punch-up.
The lead changed hands a dizzying amount of times throughout the fixture before Geddes heroics sealed a memorable Rabbitohs win. It was fellow one-club man John Sutton that orchestrated the magical moment that sunk the hearts of the vocal Sharks crowd.
"Cronulla are always tough, especially on a Saturday night," recalls Geddes.
"You get down there and it's cold, it's windy, usually not too many people out in the grandstand. For a lot of people they find it hard to get up for that, me on the other hand, I've always really enjoyed playing Cronulla.
"It was a really tough night down there. They ripped in right from the start. They had Paul Gallen and all those sort of guys ripping right in, always a very physical game. We battled it out for 80 minutes and we were very lucky to get the bikkies [competition points] at the end."
The celebrations were wild as Geddes crossed for only his 5th try in 100 games in the NRL. Mobbed by his teammates and knowing he'd claimed a historic win on his milestone night and a "fairy tale" end to Wing's Souths career, Geddes also took relief in the fact he was off the 'nudie' run that had haunted him the previous two seasons.
"Scoring the winning try that was a pretty big event for me. To be honest I only scored five tries in my career so I remember every single one of them. That was right up there with them," laughs Geddes.
"I think there was like a minute to go and I was pretty determined to get off the 'nudie' run because I had to do it the last couple of years. It was an amazing night for me, I loved every moment of it and just the reaction of the boys around me with the biggest thing.
"[My] 100th game was always a special thing for me, it was also our last game of the season and I'm a definitely a big believer in the way you finish the season carries on to the next year. It was really important for us, as Souths, to get a win on that last game of the year."
"Wingy [Craig Wing] was exceptional. He was one of those players, he just had so much experience, starting off at Souths, he was a Souths man through and through," said Geddes.
"It was just a fantastic experience being around with him. I learnt a lot of stuff off him and it was always nice to share that moment with him in his last game."
Match report originally posted on Rabbitohs.com.au on September 5, 2009.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have stolen a last second victory defeating the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 26 points to 24 at Toyota Stadium in front of 14,879 fans.
Prop forward Scott Geddes crashed over in the final moments of the Rabbitohs' season to take the win off a gallant Sharks outfit. Geddes, playing his 100th first grade game, scored his first try of the year in the last seconds of the season.
The Rabbitohs had to weather an all-out assault from the Sharks defence, with the home side determined to assert themselves physically in the opening 40 minutes.
The physicality paid off for Cronulla, with prop Luke Douglas scoring next to the posts in the sixth minute. A grubber kick hit the left upright, wrong-footing the South Sydney chasers with the ball sitting in the in-goal for Douglas to place a hand on it and score. Luke Covell converted to give the Sharks an early six-nil lead.
The Rabbitohs struck back in the 14th minute when Eddy Pettybourne charged over on the right fringe. An all-too-familiar short ball from five-eighth John Sutton sent Pettybourne through the hole to score. Chris Sandow converted to level the scores at six-all.
The next 20 minutes was the quintessential arm wrestle. In the 19th and 20th minutes, Rabbitohs fullback Nathan Merritt was instrumental in foiling two Sharks try scoring opportunities.
In the 22nd minute Ben Lowe was put on report for a high tackle on Douglas, followed by the sin-binning of Sharks lock Paul Gallen for repeated infringements in the 32nd minute.
A fight broke out between Rabbitohs winger Jamie Simpson and Sharks rake Terence Seu Seu in the 33rd minute, all before either side could post more points.
In the 36th minute, Sharks fullback Mitch Brown reached out to score and Covell converted to restore the home side's six-point advantage.
In the last minute of the first half, departing Rabbitohs utility Craig Wing was awarded a try by the video referee after receiving a pin-point short ball from Sandow on the left side to charge over and score. Sandow converted after the siren to level with scores at 12-all at half time.
The Rabbitohs did well to stay with the Sharks in the first 40 minutes, with the Red and Greens on the wrong end of a 58/42 possession ratio. The Rabbitohs controlled the ball well, completing nearly 90% of their sets in the first stanza.
The Sharks opened the scoring in the second with a 44th minute penalty goal to Luke Covell.
The Rabbitohs then scored a long-range try in the 51st minute to fullback Nathan Merritt. Wing made a half break up the middle of the field, and found Merritt with a deft offload. Merritt weaved his way to the try line to score under the posts and give the Rabbitohs the lead. Sandow's conversion gave the Rabbitohs a four-point advantage.
Three minutes later, centre Colin Best saved a certain try when he hammered Gallen into touch on his own try line. Gallen eventually got across the line in the 59th minute, reaching out to touch down and level the scores at 18 points-a-piece.
The home side scored again four minutes later through prop Kade Snowden who received a nice inside ball from Corey Hughes. Covell's conversion gave the Sharks a six-point advantage with 15 minutes left on the clock.
The Rabbitohs fought back in the 67th minute when Chris McQueen crossed in the right hand corner. A 25 metre pass from five-eighth John Sutton hit McQueen on the chest and he raced 10 metres unmarked to score.
The try brought the Rabbitohs within two points of the home side with 12 minutes left on the clock.
A knee injury to winger McQueen meant the Rabbitohs were forced to make their final interchange with over nine minutes remaining on the clock.
The Rabbitohs were given a repeat set of six in the last minute, and looked to be out of options, but it was Geddes who straightened the play and scored the miracle try to take the victory, 26-24.