Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
20,232 screaming fans proved that tribal rugby league was well and truly alive but each side had problems to deal with from the get-go.
Souths fullback Nathan Merritt suffered a knee injury in his first kick return that forced him from the field in the 13th minute. Shortly after Tigers hooker Robbie Farah went down and eventually succumbed to the hip/leg injury that has been plaguing him in recent weeks.
Despite these setbacks it was apparent that only one team showed up to play and sadly for Wests Tigers fans they may be staring down exclusion from the semi-finals. It would appear that Souths are set to make their first semi-finals appearance since 1989 after two of their best performances this season in the past fortnight.
Early on the Tigers felt robbed when a try under the sticks was disallowed in the 5th minute due to a forward pass to Todd Payten. Thirty seconds later the Rabbitohs found themselves up the other end of the field and went close to scoring themselves.
The Bunnies did open the scoring in the 15th minute however, with a great break by newly-anointed second-rower John Sutton. He fooled the opposition out wide to score the first try of the game.
A few minutes later Souths went further ahead when Jeremy Smith put on a sensational step at the line to break through and score next to the posts. And ten minutes later the Rabbitohs were further ahead with re-born centre Yileen