Without stars Clive Churchill and Greg Hawick, it looked unlikely that Souths would be able to get their fairy-tale finish against minor premiers and 1954 grand finalists, Newtown.
The Green and Red hoops trailed 11-7 with moments to go, until captain-coach Jack Rayner managed to turn possession over in the play-the-ball and toed it through for halfback Col Donohoe.
The nippy halfback won the race and grounded the ball next to the uprights, giving Burnie Purcell the easiest of conversions and the Rabbitohs a one-point lead.
Newtown would have one last bite at the cherry, however, Gordon Clifford’s long-range penalty attempt was unsuccessful, handing Souths their 16th title.
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