Sydney Roosters have kicked off their 2013 Holden Cup campaign with a 26-24 victory in yet another classic local derby. After last year's heart stopping NRL encounters, few would believe the finish in this epic season opener.


In a replay of last year's elimination final (where the Roosters snatched a last ditch victory) both sides played a high quality match given the predictably warm start of season conditions.


A glut of possession early on saw South Sydney open the scoring in just the 5th minute. A barnstorming run from captain Brad Croad proved too much for the Roosters who had been on the back foot from the opening whistle.


Trailing by six, the Roosters needed to hit back quickly. A penalty looked to have got them going, but the kick failed to find touch. With things looking grim, the team lifted in defence, forcing a turnover on halfway. From the ensuing set, the Roosters shifted the ball to the left, where the in form Samisoni Langi cut out two defenders to send Graeme Su'a Poe over in the corner.


With momentum on their side, the Roosters continued their assault on the South Sydney line. After going close early in the set, Langi once again chimed in, putting interchange forward Jack Noble over for the easiest of tries. It was a beautiful ball from Jason Antonelli that created the space for the dynamic Langi to shine.


In oppressive conditions, the Roosters opted for a rare penalty goal to increase their lead to six midway through the first half. As both sides started to feel the heat, errors became more prominent. Late in the half, and with the Roosters reeling, South Sydney number six Dylan Walker sliced through some tired defenders to race away for the pick of the first half tries. The five-eighth converted his own four pointer to leave the scores deadlocked at the break 12 all.


The half time break made little impact on Walker, who picked up from his first half scoring efforts with a jink and jive from 10 metres out. The five-eighth had no problems with the conversion, restoring his side's six point advantage. The pivot then looked to have set up another try with a pin point grabber, only for the officials to rule the chasers offside.


Just like the first half, the Roosters hit back in style, with the 6, 9, 18 combination linking up to once again level the scores. A quick dart from Langi caught the Rabbitohs short on the right, and a brilliant sleight of hand from Antonelli put Noble over for his second.


With ten minutes left, the Roosters were awarded another penalty for a high shot ten metres out. One penalty goal is rare; two shots at goal is unheard of. Brendan Elliot added the extras; a decision that would prove pivotal in the minutes to come.


South Sydney upped the ante with the clock ticking down, and the inevitable finally happened with under six minutes to play. A long shift to the right looked to be covered, but centre Tyrone Philips burrowed under the cover defence to score in the corner. Walker continued his stellar game with a clutch kick from touch.


It looked as if the Rabbitohs would hold on for the victory with the clock showing under a minute to go. But an error on halfway gave the Roosters one last chance for glory. As the full time siren sounded, Tyler Cornish put the hopeful bomb into the corner. A mad scramble followed, with John Asiata claiming the try. The referee had no hesitation awarding the try, giving Elliot the biggest kick of his young career. In front of an already packed crowd, the centre nailed the conversion; instantly etching himself into Roosters' folklore.


Another amazing finish to what has been an amazing rivalry. And this is only round one!