Souths Turn 105 Today

On the 17 January, way back in 1908, the South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club was founded at Redfern Town Hall and Rugby League was born. Nine teams comprised the competition that year. They were, in alphabetical order;

Souths won the inaugural game of Rugby League, held at Birchgrove Oval, by defeating North Sydney 11 points to 7. South Sydney finished as minor premiers that year and went on to win the very first Grand Final by beating Eastern Suburbs 14 points to 12.

Since their auspicious beginnings Souths have gone on to win 20 premierships in total, a Rugby League record in Australia. We have also produced 64 Australian internationals, another record.

In 1925 Souths went through the entire season undefeated. They were the first Rugby League team to do so and are still one of only six teams to have ever achieved that milestone.

In 1951 Souths defeated Manly-Warringah 42 points to 14 in the Grand Final to claim their 13th title. It still remains as the highest score by any team in a Grand Final and the third highest margin. Manly gained some credibility back when they belted the Melbourne Storm 40 points to nil in 2008 😉

The miracle of ’55 saw Souths will eleven straight sudden death games in a row to claim their sixteenth premiership trophy.

The ’60s and ’70s saw four more Grand Final successes for the Rabbitohs, but times have been very lean since. In 2012 Souths finished third, which is their best performance since taking out the minor premiership in 1989.

With the largest membership base of any Sydney team, effective recruitment strategies and strong ties to the indigenous community, the Souths are poised to bring home their 21st premiership trophy.

Glory, Glory to South Sydney and happy birthday to the mighty Rabbitohs.


Souths v Easts

Oh the humanity!

Last night I witnessed a game of Rugby League with more passion and commitment that any of the three State of Origins played this year.

Souths Logo

The brutal intensity of the clash between century old foes will undoubtedly eclipse the 50 point victory that the Panthers will inflict over the Tigers in the 2010 Grand Final when Benji and Robbie have simultaneous ‘off’ days.

I’m a Souths supporter. Have been all my life. So it really pains me to admit that the Roosters were the better side on the night. But they were. That’s not to detract from our boy’s performance. They too were fantastic. There are six other sides in the top eight, and a couple of hopefuls just outside it, that are sitting back saying ‘Holy shit! If they can do that to each other, what are they going to do to us?’

All thirty four players can walk away without their heads held high and their eyes on the late September prize, and the four point margin was a perfect indication of the difference between these two exceptional teams.

‘Arrgghhh’, or ‘Pardon me for a moment while I vent a little.’

What has become blatantly evident of late is the inability of the match officials to rise to the occasion. Both the Rabbitohs and the Roosters were victims last night of head-shaking, shoulder-shrugging, ‘what the’ decisions that had the propensity to impact upon the final outcome. Easts were robbed of a brilliant try in the first half and Souths were penalized out of the game with two minutes to go.

I’m not suggesting for a minute that my team deserved to win but in these times where Rugby League athletes are earning 3, 4, or $500,000 a season, do we not deserve a better class of referee?

As a fan it frustrates me to see dodgy decisions affect the outcome of crucial matches every week. As a one eyed Souths supporter I can name numerous indiscretions against us. I’m sure you, the reader, can name just as many for you own club.

Give the guy a break.

Ok, now that I have got all that angst out of my system I’m going to change tack. I am not going to turn this post into a witch-hunt because I can tell you dear reader that being a referee of any sporting code is a tough job. I know this from experience. My father refereed Rugby League for some seventeen years (that’s him in caricature) and my two oldest sons have both gone to the park with whistle in hand. I spend every wintry Sunday morning sitting in the stands, grinding my teeth and resisting the urge to punch the blithering idiot next to me who seems intent on denigrating my boys performance regardless of the fact that he is only fourteen and still on his ‘L’ plates.

The referee has a truly difficult task ahead of him, or her. With one pair of eyes they police the ten metres, watch the offside and generally try to keep tabs on twenty six large, fast moving men and the plethora of diminutive, gnat like, trainers that constantly invade the pitch. All the while trying in vain to block out the abusive elucidations from the unhappy, not so sober fan who has the benefit of video replays.

No sir, being the man in the middle is certainly no picnic and although I may disagree with some of their decisions from time to time, I respect what they do and I hope that they get the training, support and whatever else is needed from their association and the NRL in order to do a better job.

Get to the point!

The point is I just watched the best game of Rugby League this year.

Congratulations Roosters.

Glory, Glory to South Sydney.

Matthew Green. 9th July 2010

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