27 Sep 2014

Rabbitohs reach NRL Grand Final

7:35 am on 27 September 2014

South Sydney have ended the Sydney Roosters' NRL title defence to surge into their first grand final in 43 years with a stirring comeback win over their century-old rivals.

Rabbitohs players celebrate after NRL win. 2014.

Rabbitohs players celebrate after NRL win. 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Finals bunnies no more, Souths will take on either Penrith or Canterbury in Sunday week's premiership decider after recovering from an early 12-point deficit to power to a 32-22 victory at ANZ Stadium.

The thumping win atoned for painful preliminary finals losses Canterbury and Manly in 2012 and 2013 and denied the Roosters a shot at becoming the first team since Brisbane in 1992-93 to secure back-to-back titles in a united competition.

The Rabbitohs' five-tries-to-two triumph also ended the stellar NRL careers of the Roosters' record-setting captain Anthony Minichiello and Sonny Bill Williams.

But the victory gives veteran winger Lote Tuqiri and rugby-bound forward enforcers Sam Burgess and Ben Te'o a dream opportunity of farewelling the code with a premiership.

After being stripped of two titles for Melbourne's salary-cap rorting, Greg Inglis is also just 80 minutes away from earning his "first" premiership ring after the champion fullback's second-half double clinched Souths' win in front of 52,592 fans.

Thirteen years after their re-entry to the competition following a lengthy and emotional court battle with the league, Souths will be chasing a record 21st title - but first since 1971.

They may have to chase grand final glory without Issac Luke, though, after the livewire hooker was placed on report for a first-half dangerous tackle on Williams.

The New Zealand Test star has 55 carry-over points from his last appearance at the judiciary and will be sweating on the match review panel charge sheet on Monday, though coach Michael Maguire is confident Luke will be cleared to play in the Grand Final.