It was another classic David and Goliath battle as South Sydney took down the previous year's Premiers to claim the 1994 Tooheys Cup. The trophy cabinet was also getting pretty heavy back in 2015, as Souths demolished English Super League Champions St. Helens to claim the World Club Challenge. Which moment takes your pick?!
Tooheys Challenge Cup Champions (1994)
Top Moments - Tooheys Cup Premiers
The paupers of rugby league, South Sydney, scored a stunning 27-26 victory over the premiers, Brisbane, in the Challenge Cup Final at Albury’s Lavington Sports Ground. The Rabbitohs not only entertained, but dazzled the 14,884 crowd in one of the game’s biggest upsets to pocket $200,000 in prize money.
The Rabbitohs came from behind with eight minutes remaining when man of the match, Craig Field, scored the match winning try. For the first time the Broncos had taken the lead four minutes into the last quarter when Wendell Sailor slipped a flip pass out wide for Renouf to score a try. Terry Matterson converted to give them a 26-23 lead. But nine minutes later Duncan McRae got his pass back to Paul Quinn, who gave it to Jason Bell, who then put Field over for a try.
Coach Bob McCarthy said the Rabbitohs had been called rejects and cast-offs but had now beaten both grand finalists from last year – and came from behind in both games. “When you’ve got an Australian backline looking at you, and a few internationals in the forwards, it takes spirit, as well as ability to win. They are the world champions, but tonight was our night,” he said. “You can smell something big in this club right now. People say this was a rebuilding year and we couldn’t possibly make the semis, but maybe they will have to rethink that now.”
Souths took an 8-4 lead going into the break at quarter time, and soon after in the second quarter extended it when Shane Wilson shrugged off an attempted tackle from Broncos winger Michael Hancock, and sprinted the remaining 30 metres untouched to score under the posts. Ten minutes into the quarter, Broncos second-rower Brett Galea slipped a superb pass to Matterson, who scored under the posts and with the conversion made it 14-10. Corcoran’s conversion made it 14-4. Souths later received a penalty which was converted by Corcoran, giving Souths the lead 16-10 at half-time.
Four minutes into the third quarter Paul Mellor scored a great try and with Corcoran’s conversion made the score 22-10. Minutes later Duncan McRae snapped a field goal to make it 23-10. But Brisbane revived their momentum and scored two tries through Kevin Walters and Willie Carne in the third quarter. Matterson could only convert the first try to bring the score back to 23-16.
Broncos coach, Wayne Bennett, praised the Rabbitohs. “I thought Souths were wonderful. They didn’t allow us anything and we were beaten by a better team tonight,” he said.
Brisbane were without skipper Langer for much of the second half because of a corked thigh, but Bennett said the Test half would be fit for the opening premiership clash with Parramatta.
South Sydney 27 (J.Donougher, T.Smith, S.Wilson, P.Mellor, C.Field tries; J.Corcoran 3 goals; D.McRae field goal) defeated Brisbane 26 (W.Carne 2, T.Matterson, Kevin Walters, S.Renouf tries; Matterson 3 goals) at Lavington Sports Ground, Albury, Friday night, March 4, 1994 (7.30pm).
Crowd: 14,884. Referee: Greg McCallum. Halftime: Souths 16‐10. Scrums: Souths 10‐6. Penalties: Souths 6‐3.
SOUTHS: Duncan McRae; Jamie Corcoran, Shane Wilson, David Penna, Paul Mellor; Jason Bell, Craig Field; Terry Hermansson, Dean Schifilliti (c), Brett Goldspink, Jeremy Donougher, Tony Mestrov, Tyran Smith. Interchange: Paul Quinn, Darren Maroon, Jason Ryan, Jamie Kelso. Coach: Bob McCarthy.
BRISBANE: Julian O'Neill; Willie Carne, Steve Renouf, Chris Johns, Michael Hancock; Kevin Walters, Allan Langer (c); Gavin Allen, Kerrod Walters, Glenn Lazarus, Mark Hohn, Peter Ryan, Terry Matterson. Interchange: John Plath, Wendell Sailor, Brett Galea, Andrew Gee. Coach: Wayne Bennett.
Man of the match: Field (Souths).
World Club Champions (2005)
Top Moments - 2015 World Club Champions
The South Sydney Rabbitohs travelled to the UK to take on the reigning English Super League Champions, St Helens in the World Club Challenge as part of their pre-season, with the Rabbitohs demolishing the English side 39-0 to be named ‘World Champions’.
After clinching victory in the 2014 NRL Telstra Premiership by defeating the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the Grand Final, the South Sydney Rabbitohs secured a place in the annual World Championship clash. The match-up signalled the first time in South Sydney’s 107 year history that the side had the chance to be named world champions and their first time playing in the UK.
The 2015 World Club Challenge was, for the first time, part of a wider ‘World Club Series’ which saw the Brisbane Broncos take on the Wigan Warriors and the St George Illawarra Dragons face-off against the Warrington Wolves in addition to the Rabbitohs match-up with the Saints – the Australian teams completing a clean sweep to claim bragging rights over their English counterparts.
South Sydney named a full-strength squad for the match against St Helens which included new-recruit Glenn Stewart.
The Rabbitohs display against the reigning English champions was clinical, with the side excelling in both attack and defence. The seven tries to nil effort saw the NRL side run away with a 39 point victory – the largest winning margin in World Club Challenge history. Joel Reddy managed to score two tries, whilst Adam Reynolds was efficient with the boot, slotting five goals from seven attempts along with a field goal.
It didn’t take long for South Sydney to pounce, with Reynolds delivering a perfectly weighted grubber into the narrow in-goal within two minutes of the game, which saw Stewart crash over to claim the opening points of the match. Reynolds converted to make it 6-0. It would be the beginning of a long night for the Saints.
Stewart was once again amongst the action moments later, awarded a penalty which saw Reynolds opt for the shot at goal to extend the margin to 8-0.
The impressive attacking efforts showcased by Souths in the early stages of the game was back up by equally brilliant defence, with Rabbitohs rake, Isaac Luke, pulling of a classic try-saving tackle on Mark Percival who barged over in the corner but was unable to ground the ball before being bundled into touch in-goal.