It may forever be the one that got away for Souths fans.
When Adam Reynolds stepped up in the dying minutes to nail what seemed to be a potential game-clinching 40/20 trailing by four against the Panthers in the preliminary final, ANZ Stadium erupted into pandemonium.
It was a moment that perhaps defined the capabilities of the diminutive playmaker with the boot as he instilled a sense of undying hope in his troops in that single class play.
The reactions around the park were wild, and the disbelief in commentary palpable as Souths looked set to stage one of the comebacks of the ages.
But as the Rabbitohs scurried downfield to regain position, referee Gerard Sutton pulled up play.
By the slimmest of margins, Reynolds’ foot came into touch with the 40-metre line, rendering his 40/20 null and effectively ending the match as a mutual sense of defeat swept across Bunnies fans.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow for the Redfern faithful, but NSW Blues coach Bard Fittler insisted South Sydney had so much to celebrate off the back of a wild season.
“Look at that, one step, far out. Just one step,” Fittler said while watching replays of Reynolds’ 40/20 attempt.
NRL Highlights: Panthers v Rabbitohs – Preliminary Final
“When Gerrard Sutton moved over and put his hand on Penrith’s side everyone went ‘no’, we all thought he was behind. That was an incredible kick.
“The thing about South Sydney. No Latrell Mitchell, no James Roberts, no Ethan Lowe, no Brayden Burns. They went in with about five or six players out. Allan goes down hurt, Sirronen goes off. What an effort by South Sydney. It’s outrageous.
Cronulla great Paul Gallen agreed.
“I’ve got to say, I didn’t even think they would make the eight. They’re fighting it out to the final minute in the grand final qualifier. Their fans have got to be pretty proud of their effort this year I think.”
Panthers v Rabbitohs Preliminary Final Presser: Wayne Bennett and Adam Reynolds
Penrith eventually closed out the game 20-16 to secure their tickets to meet the Storm in next Sunday’s NRL grand final.
Nine’s James Bracey said it would be the moment that “Bunnies fans rued the one that got away.”
“They’ll be thinking about that moment in particular. It’s toes, toes on the line and this was game-changing.”