Rabbitohs prop Thomas Burgess.

Extra short kick-off practice and last-second match simulation specifically with the Dragons in mind got South Sydney's thrilling 20-16 triumph across the line according to Tom Burgess.

Burgess made a successful return from mid-season ankle surgery on Friday night as the Rabbitohs recovered from a 78th minute Gareth Widdop penalty to steal their third straight win, Campbell Graham scoring in the corner with just three seconds left on the clock.

The Rabbitohs earned themselves one last crack at victory with a short kick-off that St George Illawarra rookie Jason Saab couldn't hang onto despite a spectacular flying effort.

That Adam Reynolds set-play and the following five tackles were the subject of extra focus at Redfern throughout the week in anticipation of another close finish against a desperate Dragons outfit.

"We ramped up that close finish-style training this week knowing how [the Dragons] were going to come out and fight all the way, they were fighting for their season," Burgess told NRL.com.

"We practice those short kick-offs, getting the ball back and going with those plays.

"We train for that quite a lot. The coaches put us in game scenarios.

"We've got a scoreboard at training, and they'll put it on us with five minutes to go and we're down by eight points - something hard like that or you're working to tie up a game in one set.

"So I did genuinely believe we were still there and could get that try.

"It's really pleasing to hold our nerve in that situation."

Souths' players freely admit the Dragons should never have worked their way back into the contest having trailed 14-2 with only 15 minutes remaining.

But despite the late clock off the Rabbitohs emerged with their third clutch win on the trot following last-gasp victories over Manly and North Queensland.

For Burgess his 39-minute stint of 13 runs for 127 metres and 23 tackles was a step in the right direction after cleanout surgery on spurs in his ankle that have plagued him for years.

"This year it was getting to the point where I couldn't run or have any power in my ankle," Burgess said after getting through his first game in six weeks.

"I was injecting it for games just to get through them and it got to the point where it needed to be fixed or I'd be doing long-lasting damage."

Brother Sam is expected to return from infection following shoulder surgery next week against Cronulla.

Match: Rabbitohs v Dragons

Round 19 -

Full Time
Rabbitohs

Home Team

Rabbitohs

Scored 20 points
Dragons

Away Team

Dragons

Scored 16 points

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

Twin George meanwhile is busy on several fronts despite his lengthy suspension for eye-gouging as he and his partner expect their third child in the next few days.

The English front-rower is tipped to take up a lucrative three-year deal with Super League's Wigan, with the deal believed to be too good for him to pass up to remain in the NRL.

George will also make a revealing small screen debut this week as part of Channel 7's The All New Monty, joining the likes of Lote Tuqiri and AFL's Brendan Fevola in an all-male strip tease to raise awareness around testicular cancer.