Match Highlights: Round 14, 2013 vs Titans
Not all feuds are spiteful or born out of malice. Sometimes, a rivalry on the field is between two good mates looking to get bragging rights - a healthy, good-natured competition. Rabbitohs superstar Greg Inglis and former Titans halfback Albert Kelly can attest to that when they lit up Barlow park in a brilliant head-to-head battle.
For 77 minutes the two cousins went toe-to-toe in our first ever match in Cairns when the Gold Coast Titans and South Sydney Rabbitohs met in round 14 of 2013. Inglis opened the scoring, Kelly return fired, both teams relished throwing the ball around and bringing their fired up teammates into the attack.
With the Gold Coast trailing the Rabbitohs 24-30 in the final minutes, Titans centre Jamal Idris set Albert Kelly loose on their right edge - with only Inglis standing between him and the try line. Greg Inglis would finish the battle in that moment as he intercepted Kelly and dumped him into touch to save the try and consign the Titans to defeat.
Ruffling Kelly's hair, Inglis allowed himself a smile before full time - giving his cousin a friendly reminder of who the king of the jungle was that day after the entertaining spectacle that kept the sold out Barlow Park crowd encapsulated.
The two reminisced about it after the match:
"I was dreaming about it a long time ago and I got the chance to take him on, one-on-one," Kelly said in a post-match interview.
"And I took him on. We always used to play together at Willis Street back in Macksville. If we didn't have a football, we'd fill a Coke bottle up with water, or some plastic AFL ball. We always played football - on the road, on the grass, until the lights turned on - then it was home time, dinner.
"He was always fast, he was always strong, everyone looked up to him in the family and wanted to be like 'Greggo'. That was a good thing because he was always pushing us.
"In my debut, the first person who ran at me and my first NRL tackle was on Greggo. He tried to put the big lethal palm on me and I got him around the legs."
Inglis also took time to reminisce after the match but also kept the future in the front of his mind after admitting to being disappointed with the difficulty of the match for his South Sydney Rabbitohs.
"They used to have an FDB down at Nambucca - Fair Dinkum Bargains," he said.
"We'd go down there and get a red plastic ball and kick that. It brought back old memories.
"It was a disappointing match - we were lucky to walk away with a win.
"I knew that I had to make the tackle. I missed one early on Zillman and I was filthy on myself so I had to get one back. Fortunate enough it was in the last two minutes or so.
"I've been back at the club and taken so much pride on wearing that bunny on my heart. Being back here, we've got a long way to head, we just have to knuckle down and keep it going throughout this tough period."
Match report first posted on Rabbitohs.com.au on 16 June, 2013.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs managed a tight win against the Gold Coast Titans 30-24 in Cairns, in a see-sawing contest that saw the lead change a number of times in front of a vocal crowd of 16,118 fans.
The Rabbitohs got first use of the ball in good field position with a well-timed inside ball to Greg Inglis from Issac Luke sending the Bunnies fullback over next to the posts just 10 minutes in.
With the Titans on the back foot, a good kick from Adam Reynolds in to the in-goal forced a repeat set, with Sam Burgess attempting to capitalise from short range, but the Englishman lost the ball over the line.
It was deja vu just minutes later when Burgess broke through the Titans line, reaching out for the try-line only to drop the ball again.
The Titans hit back through Kevin Gordon in the corner, with Aidan Sezer converting to lock the scores up at 6 apiece.
A penalty against the Bunnies for a stripped ball on Brad Takairangi led to an Albert Kelly try right under the posts for the Titans to take the lead in the match for the first time.
The Bunnies squared the ledger again in the 31st minute. Working the ball from left to right, Souths sent the ball through the backline before Adam Reynolds put a well-weighted grubber kick in to the in-goal for Issac Luke to score near the sticks with Reynolds adding the extras.
But the Titans hit right back five minutes from half-time after a missed tackle from the Bunnies allowed Titans fullback William Zillman to slice straight through to score, bringing the score to 18-12 in the Titans favour.
The game began to see-saw again though. Just seconds from half time, Nathan Merritt broke through the Titans defence and looked certain to score. With the winger almost caught, Merritt kept the movement alive with the ball eventually swinging out to Adam Reynolds who put a kick in for Dylan Walker to score what would be the try of the afternoon. Reynolds slotted the conversion to lock the game up again at 18-18 at half-time.
After the break, the Bunnies were the first to draw blood with Roy Asotasi taking an overhead pass from Greg Inglis close to the line for the big front rower to score adjacent to the posts. Reynolds made no mistake with the conversion for the Bunnies to lead 24-18.
A penalty to the Bunnies within kicking distance posed an opportunity for the side to extend their lead to eight points, but the team opted instead to take the tap. The decision paid dividends when Ben Teo slammed the ball over the line. Reynolds converted from out wide to take the score to 30-18.
Off the back of a Rabbitohs mistake, Albert Kelly capitalised out wide to bring the visitors back within striking distance.
Kelly wasnt done though. Just three minutes from full-time, the Titans looked to score a certain try after a break from Albert Kelly, but a beautiful cover defensive tackle from Greg Inglis diffused the opportunity just short of the line, giving the Bunnies victory.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 30 (Greg Inglis, Issac Luke, Dylan Walker, Roy Asotasi, Ben Teo; Adam Reynolds 5 goals)
Gold Coast Titans 24 (Albert Kelly 2, Kevin Gordon, William Zillman; Aidan Sezer 4 goals)