After dominating the first 18 minutes, the Tigers scored three tries and at half time held a handy 16-0 lead.
But Souths held their own in the second half and with more possession, found themselves back in the match following tries to centre Russell Richardson in the 66th and 72nd minutes.
With two minutes left on the clock, Bryan Fletcher scored out wide and with the scores locked up at 16-all, all eyes to turn to the goal kicker.
Owen Craigie, who had converted the earlier tries, then turned to Justin Smith who calmly lined up the difficult conversion and slotted it through to score a gutsy victory for the competition battlers.
TIGERS 16 Tries: Wilson 2, Covell Goals: Covell 2/4 defeated by RABBITOHS 18 Tries: Richardson 2, Fletcher Goals: Craigie 2/2, Smith 1/1
Saturday 9th August 2003 7:30 PM Leichhardt Oval Referee: J Robinson Video Referee: C Ward
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Fletcher (Rabbitohs) 2 - M O'Neill (Tigers) 1 - A Laffranchi (Tigers)
By the clock: 0 min: kickoff!
4 min: TRY - Tigers. John Wilson scores. Luke Covell converts. Tigers 6-0
7 min: TRY - Tigers. John Wilson scores a double. Conversion attempt Covell unsuccessful. Tigers 10-0
17 min: No change to score, Tigers in control at 10-0 and enjoying loads of possession early on with 9/9 completions.
18 min: TRY - Tigers. Luke Covell scores and converts his own try. Wests Tigers dominating with 68% possession. Tigers 16-0
25 min: Still 16-0 as Souths notch up their 100th tackle of the match; Tigers having it easier with 49 completed tackles and still enjoying a perfect completion rate with 14/14.
HALF TIME: The Rabbitohs clawing back with some ball but no points. A near perfect effort from the Tigers who took full advantage of some poor goal line defence from Souths. NEWS - Frank Puletua (Rabbitohs) forced from the field and may have a broken arm. Tackles: Tigers 111; Rabbitohs 168 (Possession: Tigers 59%) Completions: Tigers 21/22; Rabbitohs 12/17 Penalties: Tigers 5-4 Half time score: Tigers 16-0
47 min: Still 16-0 to the Tigers.
55 min: 16-0 to the Tigers. Possession evening up now: Tigers 55% - Souths 45%, but still no change to score.
66 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Centre Russell Richardson scores. Conversion from Owen Craigie is successful. Tigers 16-6
72 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Richardson scores gain and another converted TRY to Souths. Conversion Craigie. Tigers 16-12
75 min: NEWS - Bryan Fletcher (Rabbitohs) is placed on report for a high tackle and according to some, lucky to stay on the field.
76 min: NEWS - 35m Penalty goal attempt from Luke Covell (Tigers) fails to make the distance.
78 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Bryan Fletcher crashes over to score out wide. Sideline kick from Justin Smith to come... and its a ripper. Souths 18-16
FULL TIME: A big effort from Souths to come back after being 16-0 down at half time. A sometimes controversial match with some questionable hits.
Completions: Tigers 38/44; Rabbitohs 31/40 (possession Tigers 51%) Penalties Tigers 11-9 Fulltime score: Rabbitohs 18-16