Hard to find a bad player for the Rabbitohs and Manly fans shouldn't lose faith, because they were outplayed tonight for most of the game, but were still in it with 10 mins to go.
The minor premiership is wide open again.
That's all from here. Thanks for joining us.
Keep reading SMH online for Michael Chammas' match report and all the fallout from a big night at the SCG.
No surprise Sam Burgess is the man of the match.
FT in #NRLSouMan: @SSFCRABBITOHS 23 def. @SeaEagles 4. Emphatic Bunnies keep Minor Premiership race alive at @scg. | pic.twitter.com/vzVQBMLQ7G — NRL (@NRL) August 8, 2014
And the Souths fans are in full voice. Glory glory to South Sydney ...
That will make the entire competition sit up and take notice.
The only slightly disappointing note on a terrific night at the old ground was the crowd of just over 27,000. Disappointing.
79th min: Well they do, and it is one. Reynolds pops over a field goal, just for training.
Souths 23 Manly 4
Another penalty Souths. They're finishing all over Manly here. Have they got another one in them?
What a win we are in this comp trust me !!! — Mario Fenech (@MarioFenech) August 8, 2014
Bit of push and shove, but nothing in it.
The Rabbits have now won four in a row, have gone from Canberra on a chilly Monday night to the "heat" of Cairns and back to Sydney for a monster game - 3 matches in 12 days.
Could the drought be over?
Could this be the year?
We're watching the new premiership favourites here. The bookies will be adjusting their markets as we speak, with South Sydney at the top. They have dominated this one.
71st min: But they do seal it now. And it's Sam Burgess storming through some weary Manly defence to score. Reward for a great performance. Souths have been OUTSTANDING. Reynolds converts.
Souths 22 Manly 4
And Souths nearly seal the deal. Auva'a regathers after two kicks, but it's ruled a knock on against Reynolds earlier. Still 16-4 Souths.
Sam Burgess goes right through the middle from the restart, and Stewart makes another cracking tackle.
65th min: And they do. Souths go left, Inglis puts Auva'a into some space and he offloads to Johnston who scores in the corner. It's taken them half an hour, but the Bunnies have finally cracked them. That's Johnston's 15th try, his 8th in his last 4 games. Reynolds misses the conversion. Still slim hope for Manly.
Souths 16 Manly 4
Possible crusher tackle on Keary. He stays down ... and it's a penalty. Utter rubbish. It's on report too. Over to you Tooves ...
This is a great game of footy - worthy grand final preview. Hard to believe Bennett suggested Souths were predictable. — Brad Walter (@BradWalterSMH) August 8, 2014
End to end stuff. Manly surge right back up the middle of the park and Symonds throws the ball forward when a try was beckoning. Inglis just held off and made him think too much.
And at the other end Reynolds is stopped just metres out.
Amazingly, no change to the half-time score. In fact there hasn't been a point scored for 35 mins.
Great defence Souths. Wow, that was something special. And it's Lote Tuqiri, who was caught out by the 40-20, who comes up with a big tackle on the last.
Souths dish out the treatment to Manly's Jamie Buhrer. Photo: Getty Images
40-20 Cherry-Evans. Could this be the turning point? Manly on the charge.
Kyle Turner left the field just before half-time with an eye problem, but they are starting to think it might be a bit more serious.
Real finals intensity and atmosphere now. Manly are throwing everything they've got at Souths from the ropes and the Rabbitohs are responding. Great stuff.
We've just seen one of the great Falcons of all time. Daley Cherry-Evans tries to cut out Horo but cracks him right in the face. Mario Fenech is at the ground and the original Falcon would be proud.
Chris McQueen goes within inches of scoring - three times. There's a scramble after Hiku puts down a bomb and McQueen just can't get a finger on it when it matters. ANOTHER let-off for Manly. How long can they keep it up?
Manly have turned over the ball a few times tonight in attacking positions. Could be they're not used to the SCG angles, could be the pressure from the Rabbitohs?
Lyon kicks on the first tackle from the scrum inside his own half and Stewart recovers. Manly on the charge ... but they turn it over just 10 metres out.
And the Bunnies force a line dropout from the restart. Controversial decision. Souths back on the attack straight away. But they drop it on the second tackle. Real let-off for Manly.
The players are coming back for the second half. Manly are a man down without Matai and are well behind in the run of play - which is just the way they like it.
Second half not far away.
Peta Hiku takes flight to help Brett Stewart stop Greg Inglis. Photo: Getty Images
I'd have to agree with the Aussie cricket skipper there. The Rabbitohs were great in the first half, but Manly, as is their way, just refuse to throw in the towel. They were on their knees a couple of times in the opening stanza Manly, but they're still in it.
Souths with a great first half. Reynolds back to his best. — Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) August 8, 2014
Jorge Taufua is sandwiched by the Souths defence. Photo: Getty Images
The Rabbits ramping up the defence. Very physical. And the crowd loves it.
But Taufua is bundled into touch. Great defence from the Rabbits.
Apart from the try, they've been good without the ball tonight Souths.
Penalty Manly, and they'll get probably the last chance of the half.
Manly create space for Jorge Tafua on the wing but the pass is forward from Stewart. They've done well to be as close as they are Manly.
Another penalty Souths. And they build great pressure on the back of it as Luke is stopped just short and then Keary nearly finds Alex Johnston with a beautifully weighted kick.
It's hard to believe Manly are only down by 8.
That was an outstanding tackle from Stewart. But the Rabbitohs look very dangerous and they're making great yards with the ball.
And they've turned it over again Manly.
Real trouble here.
And Souths nearly go back to back. Some great defence from Brett Stewart brings down Greg Inglis in full flight after Sam Burgess had split the Manly defence. Then they do well again to hold up Auva'a on the last tackle. All Souths here.
25th min: And there will be a lot of hands on knees now, as the Bunnies go the length of the field to score. Lote Tuqiri picks up a loose ball and the old man rolls back the years with a 70-metre run downfield. The Bunnies spin it left after the tackle and Kirisome Auva'a goes over out wide. What a try! Reynolds converts.
Souths 12 Manly 4
Souths have been getting the better of the arm wrestle in recent times, but Manly get a relieving penalty. Plenty of hands on knees in the Manly side, but they're on the attack now.
There's some hefty body contact out there tonight.
Penalty Souths and they're surging forward again.
13th min: And Toovey will be even more unhappy (is that possible?) now as the Rabbitohs go in. Dave Tyrrell draws a heap of attention and Kyle Turner storms over. Adam Reynolds bangs over the conversion.
Souths 6 Manly 4
Matai has left the field. It's that same old shoulder/neck issue. Tom Symonds has moved to left centre for the Sea Eagles. Matai's body language was pretty ordinary and I doubt he'll be back.
6th min: But it doesn't hamper the Sea Eagles as they open the scoring. A pretty simple shift to their very dangerous right and Jamie Lyon puts Peta Hiku over in the corner. Pretty soft too. Lyon misses with the conversion from touch.
Manly 4 Souths 0
The Rabbits goal-line defence holds. Manly went after Luke Keary and the Bunnies half did very well.
Great atmosphere here at the SCG !!! #gomanly http://t.co/Ii4V8GNUK3 — Steve Menzies (@SteveMenzies11) August 8, 2014
The Rabbits knock on in the play the ball and Manly will get the first chance in attack.
Jorge Tafua and Justin Horo are back for Manly, and Sam Burgess and Ben Tio are back for the Rabbits.
Let's go ...
Just minutes away from what is sure to be another cracker at the @scg! Who's pumped?! #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/Xynr1twz2s — Manly Sea Eagles (@SeaEagles) August 8, 2014
The Bunnies' return to form in recent weeks has coincided with Issac Luke's return to form. The little hooker is the man who gives the big Rabbitohs forwards that little bit of space in the ruck that allows them to get what is arguably the best roll on in the game.
The fans are rolling in and kick-off is not far away.
Was lucky enough to play on the SCG several times. The prestige and mystique is unmatched #scg #nrl — Mark Geyer (@markMGgeyer) August 8, 2014
It'll be interesting to see how many turn out at the SCG tonight. You couldn't ask for a better match to watch, but how many Manly fans will make the trek from the peninsula?
We know they're not great travellers and, as Andrew Webster revealed in the Herald yesterday, the NRL wants to move some of Manly's big games to Moore Park in future.
Anything under 30,000 would be very disappointing.
Evening sports fans and welcome to what should be an absolute cracker between South Sydney and Manly from the SCG.
It's 1 v 2 on the ladder, which would normally be enough to ensure something special. But this one has added spice. In the corresponding match last year, in Gosford, Manly coach Geoff Toovey launched one of the best rants of recent times after his side lost 22-10. With a bit of luck we might get more of the same tonight.
The Bunnies will also still be haunted by letting a healthy lead slip away in the finals last year against Manly when they looked set for their first grand final appearance since the 1970s.
Add to that the minor premiership is on the line and they're playing on the hallowed turf at the SCG.
In late team news, Sam Burgess will take his place for the Rabbitohs.
South Sydney v Manly, SCG, Friday 7.45pm
Head to Head: Sea Eagles 73, Rabbitohs 59
Last clash: Round 2 2014 - Sea Eagles 14 bt Rabbitohs 12 at Central Coast Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Sea Eagles $1.80 Rabbitohs $2.05
FootyTAB: Rabbitohs +2.5
Michael Chammas writes: This promises to be one of the best games of the season. Manly can all but seal the minor premiership with a win, but a loss opens the door for South Sydney to snatch it in the coming weeks. The battle between Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans up against Adam Reynolds and Luke Keary will determine this match.
Tip: Rabbitohs by 1
AAP writes: Could we be watching a grand final preview? The Sea Eagles have been the competition benchmarks this year and sit first, four points clear of South Sydney. They have been beaten just once in eight starts while Souths have steadied with three straight wins after disappointing losses to North Queensland and Gold Coast. The Eagles are approaching full strength with winger Jorge Taufua (ankle) named to return from a two-game absence while Anthony Watmough (knee) and Steve Matai (concussion) have been cleared by coach Geoff Toovey. Justin Horo is also back from suspension. In Souths' camp, Ben Te'o will return from suspension while Sam Burgess (shoulder) has been named but is no certainty.
Key: Sam Burgess. When the two teams last met, the Manly pack did a job on the English hardman. Toovey says they won't be carrying the same aggressive mindset towards Burgess this time around for fear of provoking him. He has averaged a staggering 144 metres this season and the Bunnies will need him to lay the platform against a well-drilled Manly pack.