The Bunnies dominated throughout and withstood some lenient refereeing that saw several Bulldogs players stay on the field when a sin-binning would have been justified.
But it’s pure celebrations for the red and the green after their first grand final victory since 1971.
As is always the case with GFs, there was no shortage of drama.
The hero, if one had to be picked, was the Rabbitohs’ Premiership Rugby-bound enforcer Sam Burgess, who after a head clash with his England team-mate James Graham with the opening hit-up of the match played on with a suspected broken cheek bone.
“It’s f—ed. It’s gone,” Burgess told Channel Nine as he walked off at half-time but he played on.
By the end of the match he had no regrets: “I’d do it all over again. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sore tomorrow.”
Burgess’s effort was reminiscent of Rabbitohs’ legend John Sattler, who played on in the 1970 Grand Final with a broken jaw after suffering the injury in the third minute.
The Rabbitohs took a slender but well-deserved 6-0 lead to the break with a try from Adam Johnston and a penalty from Adam Reynolds.
After half-time the Bulldogs were back level with a converted try to Tony Williams.
The Bunnies took the lead back soon after though with a menacing run from Sam’s brother George knocking over Doggies defenders like ten pins and barging over the line.
Reynolds converted and kicked a further penalty to take the lead to 14-6.
After the Bulldogs threatened a fightback, the pendulum swung in the Bunnies’ favour and the scoreline blew out with three tries in the closing 10 minutes.
Kirisome Auva’a crossed after some kicking wizardry from Greg Inglis, Reynolds claimed a four-pointer of his own and finally Inglis ran away with the last play of the game to put a cap on the damage.
Burgess was seen on his haunches crying tears of joy even before that last try, which he was given the chance to convert from the sideline after the final whistle.
His attempt went surprisingly close, missing to the left of the upright, but history had been well and truly made.
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