Souths have ended a 27-year premiership drought with a 21-12 win over Macquarie in the 2016 Newcastle Rugby League grand final at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
Lions captain-coach Todd Hurrell held the trophy aloft in what was the club’s first title since 1989 and fans wearing white and red colours stormed the ground to celebrate with players at full-time.
Souths five-eighth Willie Heta set up one try, scored one himself and kicked both conversions after trailing 12-7 midway through the second half.
The Lions were then reduced to 12 men in the 66th minute when Hurrell was sent to the sin bin for a swinging arm and successfully defended their line to keep the Scorpions at bay.
Minor premiers Macquarie, who have now lost the last two deciders, took the lead soon after the break when centre Teason Fa'avae-Eli crossed to overcome a 7-6 half-time deficit.
Lions hooker Liam Higgins was named man of the match.
In the earlier games Lakes won all three grades – reserves, opens and under 19s.
South Newcastle lead minor premiers Macquarie 7-6 at half-time of the 2016 Newcastle Rugby League grand final at Hunter Stadium.
Souths halfback Rex Johnson kicked a field goal four minutes before the break to split the deadlock.
Only a set prior Lions winger Sam McIntyre was pulled down inches short of the line by Scorpions centre Nathan Cantor.
This followed Souths prop James Taylor being held up over the line.
In the 14th minute Macquarie levelled proceedings at 6-all when second-rower Randall Briggs scored to the left of the uprights at the northern end of the field from an Andy Sumner short ball. Five-eighth Scott Briggs added the extras.
The account was opened by Souths winger Jarrod Flanagan with his 17th try of the season with second-rower Jake Lawrence getting the ball away in sight of the line and Lewis Schneider provided the last pass. Lions No.6 Willie Heta, the competition’s top point scorer, landed the sideline conversion.