The St George Illawarra Dragons faced their northern rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium - Home of the Bidjigal peoples to kick off the NRL Indigenous Round celebrations on Thursday night.
The Red V and South Sydney went into battle after both having last start defeats but in this game the Rabbits surged back from 16 points down to defeat their rivals 32-24.
Souths trailed 16-0 after 16 minutes but they turned it around just as quickly as Wayne Bennett's men posted three tries in 20 minutes to level the scores at half-time.
The Dragons had won only two of their previous 10 meetings against South Sydney but after 20 mins it looked like they had broken that curse and would cruise to victory and the Kogarah crowd were cheering.
In-form fullback Matt Dufty was untouchable scoring two tries and setting up another before the tide turned fast as the Bunnies clicked into gear with Cody Walker scoring a superb individual try in the 20th minute and Alex Johnston intercepting a Dufty pass to score in the 31st minute.
It was locked up at 20-all with 25 minutes to play but Walker put the Bunnies back in front in the 61st minute and they were never headed even though a late try to Mikaele Ravalawa in the corner gave the Red V some faint hope.
The Red V currently have five players who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander-Tyrell Fuimaono (Wiradjuri) Josh Kerr (Quandamooka) Jason Saab (Anaiwan) Tristan Sailor (Erub (Darnley) Island) and Jayden Sullivan (Yuin).
The Dragons also have a big Indigenous presence etched in the club's history, including Jamie Soward who is the club's most capped player of all-time-Soward and Amos Roberts also jointly hold the record for most points scored in a match (22) .Indigenous winger Nathan Blacklock also scored 76 tries between seasons 1999 and 2001, including 27 in 2001.
Former Dragon and Clontarf director Jeff Hardy and his students from Endeavour Sport High School provided some pre-game cultural performances as well as local students from the Gilli dance group along with Golden Guitar winner Col Hardy OAM.