Top 5 at Five: Wins over the Rabbitohs
It might not rank as highly as some of the modern day rivalries, but Wests Tigers and South Sydney always seem to produce fiery encounters every time they meet.
Both sides have enjoyed their moments of success over the other, but in recent times, it’s been all Wests Tigers with the joint-venture winning all of the past four encounters.
And let’s be honest here, it’s always fun to beat the Rabbitohs, so in this week’s Top Five at Five, we count down the Top 5 wins over South Sydney, thanks to Share Care.
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5. Round 20, 2005 — Wests Tigers 42 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 20
Coming into the match on the back of a three-game winning streak and on the verge of the top eight, Wests Tigers would know that their hopes of a first finals berth would rest on their ability to keep their winning streak going and close out the season in style. And that’s exactly what they did on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt Oval as a Robbie Farah hat-trick inspired Wests Tigers to a 42-20 victory. Despite the visitors making more metres, less tackles and having more possession, the hosts’ clinical and blistering attack proved far too strong for the Rabbitohs as they bulldozed their way to a 24-0 lead that simply could not be run down in the second half. The win jumped Wests Tigers into sixth position, with the Club’s winning streak eventually extending out to eight — giving the Club it’s first finals berth and, as we know, it’s maiden premiership as well.
4. Round 9, 2016 — Wests Tigers 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 22
The form for Wests Tigers could not have been worse heading into a Thursday night clash off a short turnaround coming back from Canberra following a 60-6 drubbing and a run of six straight defeats. The news didn’t get much better for Wests Tigers on the day either, with Mitchell Moses going down injured in the warmup and James Tedesco midway through the match — forcing Chris Lawrence to five-eighth and Jordan Rankin to fullback. However, despite that, the visitors showed great resilience to push their way to a 20-6 half-time lead, before holding on in the second half to emerge with a gutsy 30-22 gutsy that stopped the team one game short of the Club’s all-time losing streak.
3. Round 26, 2006 — Wests Tigers 52 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
Defending premiers for the 2006 season, Wests Tigers’ year certainly didn’t go to plan as they missed out on the finals series once again. They did, however, finish off the season in style — demolishing the Rabbitohs 52-18 in their final game of the season and the final game in Wests Tigers colours for several players. Premiership winners Scott Prince, Anthony Laffranchi and Shane Elford were all farewelled, while John Skandalis — who scored the first ever try for Wests Tigers back in 2000 — crossed for a four-pointer in the final game of his memorable 295-game career. Skandalis was also given a shot at goal with a penalty after the siren but couldn’t cap the special day off with a goal.
2. Round 3, 2014 — Wests Tigers 25 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 16
After blowing the Gold Coast Titans away the week before, Wests Tigers team of young guns came up against what would be the eventual premiers early in the 2014 season, with many expecting a simple victory for the visitors. However, nobody told the likes of Luke Brooks and James Tedesco that as the youth of Wests Tigers proved too much for the Rabbitohs, while an underrated forward pack took it to the Burgess boys and co. Two late tries to the Rabbitohs threatened to steal the win for the visitors, before a field goal to Braith Anasta ensured Wests Tigers would walk away with a stunning upset win.
1. Round 22, 2004 — Wests Tigers 56 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 6
With hopes of a maiden finals series appearance on the line, Wests Tigers went into their Round 22 clash against the Rabbitohs knowing that anything other than two points would confirm their exit from the Premiership race. Playing in Scott Sattler’s 200th NRL match, Wests Tigers came out firing against the beleaguered Bunnies — blasting their way to 56 points in what remains the highest ever score posted by a Wests Tigers team. Legendary hooker and captain Darren Senter was farewelled by his beloved Leichhardt Oval crowd for the final time with a rousing round of applause, while Jason Moodie bagged a hat-trick and Dene Halatau a double in the ten tries to one victory.