Damien Cook looked busted but had the last laugh in the sheds after leading South Sydney to their biggest ever finals score against Newcastle on Sunday.
The Rabbitohs fought back from a 14-0 deficit to score 46 consecutive points in the NRL elimination final, winning 46-20 at ANZ Stadium.
It was their biggest ever finals tally in their 112-year history, beating the 45 points they scored against Western Suburbs in 1956.
Cook's 75-metre sprint for the final try of the afternoon was rugby league poetry and capped off a brilliant but tough performance.
The NSW hooker made seven tackle breaks and set up a try at the end of both halves for Souths, but stayed down after each contact in the final 40 minutes.
He copped a knock to the knee but is not in any doubt for next week, wearing just strapping after the game.
After playing 21 games this season and 19 straight, he's like many in the NRL finals playing busted.
With a wry smile after the record win, coach Wayne Bennett said Cook was fine - it was merely the heat causing him to slow down until he struck late.
"He looked pretty good five minutes ago when he was telling me how good his try was," Bennett said.
The Rabbitohs are now 80 minutes away from their third preliminary final in as many seasons.
In a scrappy game where Souths made nine errors in the first half, they simply had the patience to finish off the game with Junior Tatola and Alex Johnston both scoring doubles.
The win booked them a date with Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night, where the winner will play Penrith in a preliminary final at ANZ Stadium the following week.
The Knights followed a trend that endured the weekend where the loser of each final scored first.
But they bucked another trend.
It was the first match in nine games this season where they have scored first and lost.
Full of energy from the kick off, the Knights raced out to a 12-0 lead after seven minutes with tries to Hymel Hunt and Bradman Best.
A penalty put them ahead 14-0 after 11 minutes.
"You send prayers down when you're down 14-0 in a semi-final," Bennett said.
"It's the last thing you wanted. The 14 points had come off errors we made in the back end of the field."
Bennett's prayers worked and Souths hit back with three consecutive tries in eight minutes to level the scores at 14-all before they found a second gear.
The Knights made the fatal mistake of leaving space at marker and Cook put the burners on to cut through, setting up Cameron Murray under the posts.
And from there, Souths did not concede again until the final minute when Hunt scored his second of the afternoon.
In front of a healthy crowd of 17,212, the Knights were overrun in their first finals match since 2013.
"It's a classic example, what you do most of all year will come out in the most pressure games," said coach Adam O'Brien.
"I was really scared of that inconsistent season coming back to hurt us and it did."