So much respect for this amazing Manly team. Definition of tough. Hard to roll in GF. Great season for the Bunnies. Force for years. — Danny Weidler (@Danny_Weidler) September 27, 2013
So many things for Souths to be proud of this year ... tough finish but a season to remember. #NRLFINALS — Dave Smith (@DaveSmithNRL) September 27, 2013
Wow?only Manly backs to the wall & they just find something with in,nothing but RESPECT how good NRL finals.... — Wendell Sailor (@RealBigDell) September 27, 2013
80 min: Consolation try to Dylan Walker on his 19th birthday. Luke converts.
MANLY 30 (M Ballin J Lyon B Stewart T Symonds D Williams tries J Lyon 5 goals) bt SOUTH SYDNEY 20 (N Merritt J Sutton D Walker tries A Reynolds 3 I Luke goals) at ANZ Stadium. Referees: Gerard Sutton, Ben Cummins. Crowd: 44,546.
77 min: NO TRY! Lyon denied his second after Cherry-Evans knocked on before kicking a grubber.
75 min: NO TRY. George Burgess ruled to have knocked over the line. Hasn't been the Burgess boys' night. Meanwhile, Fa'aoso has been taken to hospital for precautionary x-rays on his neck.
72 min: Souths are gone now after a Tom Symonds chargedown try secures victory for Manly. Lyon converts. SEA EAGLES 30-16.
71 min: Under 10 minutes to go ... time is running out for Souths, who haven't score a point in an hour.
69 min: Manly are turning the screws now - excellent chase by Daly Cherry-Evans and Anthony Watmough to pin Dylan Walker in the in-goal.
62 min: Freakish try by David Williams, who somehow busted an Inglis tackle and avoided the sideline to score. The Wolfman's nutritional guru Sean Carolan would have loved that four-pointer. Lyon converts from the sideline and all of a sudden Manly lead by 10. SEA EAGLES 24-14.
58 min: Manly snatch the lead with a try to the Wee Waa whiz Jamie Lyon. Lyon makes it three from three. SEA EAGLES 18-14.
I may need to shower after this game. I feel dirty cheering for Manly. #NRLsouman — DebbieSpillane (@DebSpillane) September 27, 2013
51 min: NO TRY! Sam Burgess ruled to have knocked on over the line. He looked in for all money - great defence by Manly.
45 min: It's often said Brett Stewart is worth 10 points to Manly, and he's proving it tonight. This time he's the provider, putting Matt Ballin over for a try with a deft pass. Lyon converts to put the Sea Eagles only two points behind. SOUTHS 14-12.
Great comeback by Manly. They were blown off the park in the first 13 mins, and have somehow fought back. Only down 14-6 at half-time. #NRL — Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) September 27, 2013
Half-time: SOUTHS 14-6. Souths have led 14 times this season for 12 victories.
I really fear for George Rose heading into his first pre-season next year under Craig Bellamy. #struggletown — Jon Tuxworth (@Tuxy81) September 27, 2013
One more pie, GEorge would have got there! #NRL — Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) September 27, 2013
37 min: Superb defence by Souths to keep out Manly, who had back-to-back sets on the Rabbitohs' line. Manly appeared certain to score at least three times, especially George Rose, but were denied by desperate Bunnies defenders.
31 min: Souths forced to defend their line again after a simple error by Luke from a scrum win. But Manly are again unable to cross the stripe.
27 min: Fantastic run by Kieran Foran is ended by an equally impressive tackle by Greg Inglis before Foran could link with a support.
25 min: Knock on by the fearless Richie Fa'aoso relieves the pressure on Souths.
20 min: Manly are on the board, a flying Brett Stewart grounding a superb grubber kick by his brother Glenn. Lyon converts. Didn't the Sea Eagles need that. SOUTHS 14-6.
18 min: Here's a chance for Manly: Luke Burgess knocks on a poor pass from Goodwin about 35m out from Souths' line.
12 min: Nathan Merritt becomes the equal leading tryscorer in Souths' history (on 144 with Benny Wearing) when he crosses for Souths' second. Reynolds raises the flags from the sideline to put the Rabbitohs more than two converted tries in front. SOUTHS 14-0.
10 min: Miserable start to the match by Glenn Stewart, who knocks on a simple pass after a promising foray by the Sea Eagles.
7 min: Souths grab the first-pointer, John Sutton shrugging off an attempted tackle by Glenn Stewart to score. Reynolds converts. Great start by the Bunnies. SOUTHS 8-0.
Meanwhile, it's just been revealed that Souths coach Michael Maguire's mother passed away today. Souths players are wearing black arm bands.
4 min: Glenn Stewart on report for a high tackle on Sam Burgess. Souths elect to take a shot at goal.
3 min: Massive let-off for Manly as Issac Luke's pass to Bryson Goodwin on the first tackle after the scrum is ruled forward.
2 min: Tremendous first set by Souths, which ended with Manly winger David Williams being forced to knock down a pass to prevent a try being scored.
Don't get people out of their teens who paint their face.... #NRLFinals — Michael Carayannis (@MCarayannis) September 27, 2013
Both teams are making their way onto ANZ Stadium now. I'm showing my age but Eagle Rock is one of the classic Australian tunes.
On my way back to our hotel in Vienna to watch @manlyseaeagles beat the Rabbits!! #gomanly #gfherewecome — Steve Menzies (@SteveMenzies11) September 27, 2013
Good evening all and welcome to our coverage of the first preliminary final.
Boths teams are 1-17. Not long until kick-off now - bring it on after another week from hell off the field for the NRL.
Good luck to @SSFCRABBITOHS massive night!! Good luck to all involved! #yearoftherabbit — Ryan Harris (@r_harris413) September 27, 2013
Man I am on the edge of the lounge already and we haven't kicked off yet go @SSFCRABBITOHS GGTSS !! — Troy Cassar-Daley (@troycassardaley) September 27, 2013
ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, Friday 7.45pm (AEST)
Last meeting: Rabbitohs 22 bt Sea Eagles 10 at Bluetongue Stadium, Rd 23 2013
Head-to-head: Rabbitohs 59, Sea Eagles 71
Referees: Ben Cummins, Gerard Sutton
TV: Live, Channel 9
TAB: Rabbitohs $1.40, Sea Eagles $3.00
FootyTab: Sea Eagles +6.5
AAP writes: Manly looked out on their feet towards the end of their clash with Cronulla and only a John Morris brain snap prevented Sharks skipper Paul Gallen being awarded a potential match-winning try. How the Sea Eagles respond against a rested Souths line-up will be the main issue here. Having nullfied Melbourne so brilliantly in week one of the finals, the Rabbitohs will be desperate to go one better than last year and earn a grand final berth. Injury clouds hover over several Manly players including Jamie Lyon, Anthony Watmough and Jamie Buhrer while fullback Brett Stewart is again in doubt as he tries to overcome a hamstring complaint. Souths have no such dramas and their giant pack will be out to test the Sea Eagles’ stamina right from the kickoff.
Key: The first 20 minutes. If the Sea Eagles can withstand a likely barrage from the Burgess brothers and the rest of the Rabbitohs pack and keep the game tight, they’ll be hoping nerves might creep into the Souths’ players and fans.
RABBITOHS: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Bryson Goodwin, Dylan Walker, Dylan Farrell, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Dave Tyrrell, Issac Luke, Luke Burgess, Sam Burgess, Ben Te’o, Jeff Lim. Interchange: Jason Clark, Roy Asotasi, Chris McQueen, George Burgess, Ben Lowe, Luke Keary, Matt King (three to omitted).
SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (capt), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Glenn Stewar. Interchange: Richie Faaoso, Jamie Buhrer, Tom Symonds, George Rose, Peta Hiku, James Hasson, David Gower (three to be omitted).