A late masterclass in kicking from veteran halfback Adam Reynolds has seen the South Sydney Rabbitohs escape with a thrilling 31-30 victory over the Cowboys and Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
It was a game where you could never really be sure of the result, with the lead changing hands no less than 7 times over the 80 minutes.
Adam Reynolds scored the opening try from a chip 'n' chase in the sixteenth minute but the Cowboys showed they had come to play with tries to Lemuelu, Morgan and Tabuai-Fidow over the next 16 minutes. Kyle Feldt was unable to convert any of them, leaving the score at 12-6.
A try to Dane Gagai shortly after squared things up before a penalty goal to the Cowboys saw them lead 14-12 at the break.
Souths got their noses back in front in the 47th minute when Johnston touched down courtesy of a cut-out pass from Cody Walker. Reynolds converted for an 18-14 lead.
The lead changed hands again in the 50th minute, with Morgan powering over close to the line for his second try of the night. His performance was about ten times better than his return against the Titans last week. Feldt converted for once, putting the Cowboys ahead 20-18.
The Rabbitohs were next to score, as centre Campbell Graham proved too strong for Ben Hampton as he crashed over, causing yet another change in the lead. Reynolds drilled the conversion for a 24-20 lead with 24 minutes remaining.
The game took yet another twist when Dunn scored to tie it up from absolutely nothing. Alex Johnston made a meal of a pretty average Michael Morgan kick and Mitch Dunn was there to clean up. He sold the dummy to Gagai on the way to the line and scored. Feldt had the chance to break the deadlock but missed his fourth kick of the night.
Drinkwater was the man of the moment in crunch time, kicking for Opacic to pluck the ball out from right in front of Campbell Graham and surely win the game for the Cowboys.
But the Rabbitohs weren't done, with Johnston crossing for his second try four minutes from full-time setting up Reynolds with a kick from the sideline to send the match into extra time. He missed, and with 3 minutes to go surely the Cowboys had done enough.
Nope. Somehow, from that point, the Cowboys lost in regulation time. Feldt gave away a needless penalty to ensure that no one went past him for worst player on the field and Reynolds made amends for earlier, before some soft as butter defence allowed the Rabbitohs 80 metres upfield on the kickoff set and Adam Reynolds drilled the field goal.
Next week, the Rabbitohs take on Manly in a match that is crucial in the top 8 race, while the Cowboys will play the Knights in Newcastle.