South Sydney Rabbitohs
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are a professional Australian rugby league team based in Redfern, a suburb of inner-southern Sydney, New South Wales. They participate in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and are one of nine existing teams from the state capital. They are often called Souths and The Bunnies.
|Full name||South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club|
The Bunnies, The Rabbits
The Red and Green,
The Cardinal and Myrtle
|Founded||17 January 1908|
|Premierships||21 (1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2014)|
|Runners-up||13 (1910, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1949, 1952, 1965, 1969)|
|Minor premiership||17 (1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1989)|
|Wooden spoons||8 (1945, 1946, 1962, 1975, 1990, 2003, 2004, 2006)|
|Most capped||336 - John Sutton|
|Highest points scorer||1,841 - Eric Simms|
The club was formed in 1908 as one of the founding members of the New South Wales Rugby Football League, making them one of Australia's oldest rugby league teams. The Rabbitohs were formed, under their original 1908 articles of association with the NSWRL competition, to represent the Sydney municipalities of Redfern, Alexandria, Zetland, Waterloo, Mascot and Botany. They are one of only two NSW foundation clubs still present in the NRL, the other being the Sydney Roosters.[note 1] The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club is currently a subsidiary company 75% owned by Blackcourt League Investments which is, in turn, 50% owned by the actor Russell Crowe and 50% owned by James Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings; the other 25% is owned by the financial Members of the club.
The Rabbitohs' traditional heartland covers the once typically working-class suburbs of inner-south Sydney. The club is based in Redfern, where the club's administration and training facilities are located, however they have long held a wide supporter base spread all over New South Wales. The team's home ground is currently Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park. In the New South Wales Rugby League (1908–1994), Australian Rugby League (1995–1997), and National Rugby League (1998-1999, 2002–present) competitions South Sydney are the second most successful professional team in the history of Australian rugby league in terms of total championships won, having claimed 20 NSW first grade premierships, and one NRL premiership. In addition to winning the second most premierships, the Rabbitohs also hold the distinction of being the only NSW club to win a premiership in their inaugural season.
The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club was formed at a meeting on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall when administrator J J Giltinan, cricketer Victor Trumper and politician Henry Hoyle gathered together in front of a large crowd of supporters. The club played in the first round of the newly formed New South Wales Rugby League, defeating North Sydney 11–7 at Birchgrove Oval on 20 April 1908. The team went on to win the inaugural premiership then successfully defended their title in the 1909 season, winning the Grand Final by default. During these early years Arthur Hennessy was considered the "founding father" of the South Sydney rugby league club. A hooker and prop forward, Hennessy was Souths' first captain and coach. He was also New South Wales' first captain and Australia's first test captain in 1908. S. G. "George" Ball became Club Secretary in 1911 after Arthur Hennessy stood down from the position, and he remained in that capacity for over fifty years, only retiring a few years before his death in 1969.
After further premiership success in 1914 and 1918, South Sydney won seven of the eight premierships from 1925–1932, only missing out in 1930. The 1925 side went through the season undefeated and is only one of six Australian premiership sides in history to have achieved this feat. Such was Souths dominance in the early years of the rugby league competition that the Rabbitohs were labelled "The Pride of the League".
South Sydney struggled through most of the 1940s, only making the semifinals on two occasions (1944 and 1949). South Sydney's longest losing streak of 22 games was during the period 1945–1947. In the 1945 season they only managed to win one game while in 1946 they were unable to win a single game.
In the 1950s South Sydney again had great success, winning five of the six premierships from 1950–1955, and losing the 1952 Grand Final against Western Suburbs in controversial circumstances. The 1951 side's point scoring feat in their 42–14 victory over Manly-Warringah remains the highest score by a team in a Grand Final and "the miracle of '55" involved South Sydney winning 11 straight sudden death matches to win the premiership. Players that were involved in these years included Denis Donoghue, Jack Rayner, Les "Chicka" Cowie, Johnny Graves, Ian Moir, Greg Hawick, Ernie Hammerton, Bernie Purcell and Clive Churchill. Churchill, nicknamed "the Little Master" for his brilliant attacking fullback play, is universally regarded as one of the greatest ever Australian rugby league players.
In the late 1950s Souths began a poor run of form failing to make the finals from 1958–1964. However, in 1965 a talented young side made the Grand Final against St. George who were aiming to secure their 10th straight premiership. The young Rabbitohs weren't overawed by the Dragons formidable experience and in front of a record crowd of 78,056 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, they went down narrowly 12–8. The nucleus of this side went on to feature in Australian representative teams for the next six years and ensured another golden period for South Sydney making five successive grand finals from 1967–1971, winning four. Bob McCarthy, John O'Neill, Eric Simms, Ron Coote, Mike Cleary and John Sattler from 1965 were later joined by Elwyn Walters, Ray Branighan, Paul Sait, Gary Stevens and coach Clive Churchill to form a fearsome combination before internal strife and poaching by other clubs from 1972 onwards unravelled the star studded pack. From this period comes part of South's and Australian Rugby League folklore when in the 1970 premiership decider against Manly, captain John Sattler inspired the side to victory playing out 70 minutes of the match with his jaw broken in three places after being king hit by Manly prop John Bucknall.
Financial problems started to hit Souths in the early 1970s, forcing some players to go to other clubs. The licensed Leagues Club, traditionally such an important revenue provider to all first grade league sides, was closed in 1973 but a "Save Our Souths" campaign ensured the club survived. "Super Coach"[note 2] Jack Gibson's arrival turned the club's form, winning the pre-season competition in 1978. The club captured victories in the mid-week Tooth Cup competition in 1981 and in the pre-season "Sevens" competition in 1988. The Rabbitohs were able to make the finals on five occasions in the 1980s, including a dominant season to finish as minor premiers in 1989. The 1989 season proved to be the club's most successful in years, but also marked the last time the club was able to reach the finals until 2007. The following season the Rabbitohs finished as wooden spooners.
The club stayed afloat in the 1990s despite major financial problems. Souths' only success came in 1994 when they won the pre-season competition, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 27–26 in the final. The Super League War and the eventual formation of the National Rugby League affected the club greatly when it was determined in 1998 that the newly formed competition would be contracted to 14 teams for the 2000 season. Following a series of mergers by other teams,[note 3] South Sydney failed to meet the National Rugby League's selection criteria to compete in the competition and were subsequently excluded from the premiership at the end of the 1999 season.
In 2000 and 2001, South Sydney fought their way back into the competition following a string of high-profile legal battles against the National Rugby League and News Limited. A number of well attended public rallies took place during this time, as supporters from many different clubs got behind South Sydney's case. Upon appeal to the Federal Court in 2001, South Sydney won readmission into the premiership for the 2002 season.
After being readmitted, the Rabbitohs were initially unsuccessful in the premiership, finishing amongst the bottom three teams for five seasons straight including three wooden spoons. However, following the club's takeover by actor Russell Crowe and businessman Peter Holmes à Court in 2006, the club has had great success in securing a number of major national and international player signings such as the four Burgess Brothers and Greg Inglis. The club was also successful in recruiting several key managerial positions including Jason Taylor as head coach in 2007 and more recently Michael Maguire in 2012.
South Sydney won their first three games of the 2007 season (marking their best start to a season since 1972) and being competitive in every game. On the back of one of the best defences in the competition, the Rabbitohs finished strongly making the semi-finals for the first time since 1989. They finished the season in 7th position, going down to Manly in the playoffs.
On 26 January 2008, the Rabbitohs lost 24–26 to the Leeds Rhinos in front of 12,000 fans at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time first-grade professional rugby league teams from Australia and England have played each other in the United States.
May 2008 saw the sudden resignation of the then current Executive chairman and CEO, Peter Holmes à Court. He had been appointed to the role of CEO at the start of 2008. Reports suggested that Holmes à Court had been forced to stand down after his relationship with Russell Crowe had deteriorated beyond repair.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during the 2008 National Rugby League season. That year they were named the National Trust's inaugural 'Community Icon', in recognition of the club's significant longstanding contribution to sport and sporting culture at both state and national levels. In April 2012 the South Sydney Rabbitohs became the second club to record 1000 wins in First Grade. That same year the Rabbitohs finished third at the end of the regular season, qualifying for the finals for the first time since 2007 and just the second time since 1989. The South Sydney Rabbitohs finished third at the end of the regular season in 2014. They went on to win the Grand Final against the Canterbury Bulldogs 30-6 to claim their first premiership in 43 years, with Sam Burgess claiming the Clive Churchill Medal, South Sydney's first Clive Churchill Medallist in 43 years (taking into account the retrospective Clive Churchill medal awarded to Ron Coote in 1971). The 2014 Grand Final was the last match Burgess played for South Sydney, until an unexpected return to the club in 2016. On Thursday 9 October 2014, the Rabbitohs were presented with the Keys to the City of Randwick by Mayor Ted Seng at a presentation ceremony at Souths Juniors in Kingsford and later the same day awarded the Keys to the City of Sydney by Lord Mayor Clover Moore at a reception at Sydney Town Hall.
On 23 October 2014, Holmes à Court sold his 50% share of Blackcourt League Investments, and consequently his 37.5% stake in South Sydney, to James Packer's ScrumPac Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings.
South Sydney started The 2015 NRL Season in promising fashion before injuries to key players set in with the club finishing 7th on the table and qualifying for the finals. In week one of the finals they played against Cronulla in the elimination match and lost 28-12 ending their season.
The 2016 NRL season proved to be a disappointing one for Souths as they finished 12th on the table, missing the finals. The club managed to only win 9 games for the entire season. The 2017 NRL season seemed to mirror the previous year with the club again finishing 12th on the table and captain Greg Inglis missing the entire season through injury after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injury acquired in the first game of the year. One of the highlights of the year for the club was seeing the emergence of young back-rower Angus Crichton who put in a number of good performances for the team. At seasons end, coach Michael Maguire was terminated and new coach Anthony Seibold was appointed.
For the 2018 NRL season, many experts predicted Souths to finish outside the top 8 but the club performed strongly throughout the year finishing 3rd on the table at the end of the regular season. In week one of the finals, South Sydney played against Melbourne and looked to have secured the victory until a late try and a field goal gave Melbourne the win 29-28. In week two, South Sydney played against St George for the first time in the finals series since 1984. Souths won the match 13-12 thanks to three field goals from Adam Reynolds including one in the final minute of the match. In the preliminary final, Souths faced off against arch rivals Eastern Suburbs in what would also be the last match played at the Sydney Football Stadium. In front of a ground record crowd of 44,380, Souths were defeated 12-4.
South Sydney started the 2019 NRL season strongly with the club winning 10 of their first 11 matches. Following the 2019 State of Origin series, Souths suffered a slump in form losing 4 games in a row. The club then recovered towards the end of the regular season winning 3 games in a row to finish in 3rd place on the table and qualified for the finals series.
South Sydney would go on to lose their qualifying final against their arch rivals the Sydney Roosters 30-6 in week one of the 2019 finals series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In the elimination final against Manly-Warringah, Souths won a hard fought match 34-26 at ANZ Stadium to reach their second consecutive preliminary final. In the preliminary final against Canberra, Souths would go on to fall short of a grand final appearance losing the match 16-10 at a sold out Canberra Stadium.
The club mascot is the rabbitoh, a now-disused term that was commonly used in the early 20th century to describe hawkers who captured and skinned rabbits and then sold the meat at markets, so named because they would shout "rabbit-oh!" around the markets to attract buyers. The club is also informally referred to as the Rabbits, Bunnies or Souths.
Exactly how South Sydney came to be known as the Rabbitohs is unknown. According to one version of events, dating from pre-schism days at the turn of the 20th century, some of the club's players earned some extra money on Saturday mornings as rabbit-oh men, staining their jerseys with rabbit blood in the process; when they played in those blood stained jumpers that afternoon, opponents from wealthier rugby clubs did not always appreciate the aroma and would mockingly repeat the "Rabbitoh!" cry. Another version was that the term was a disparaging reference by opposing teams to South's home ground being plagued with "rabbit 'oles"; in those early days Redfern Oval was then known as Nathan's Cow Paddock. A third version claims the Rabbitoh name was adopted from that of the touring Australian rugby union teams of the early 1900s who were nicknamed "Rabbits" prior to discarding the name in 1908 in favour of the moniker "Wallabies".
The "Rabbitoh" emblem, a running white rabbit, first appeared on the team's jersey in 1959. The Rabbitoh emblem has in various forms been carried as the club's crest on every player's jersey ever since. The original "Rabbitoh" emblem design that appeared on the team's jerseys throughout the 1960s and 1970s has now been incorporated on the current jersey.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during 2008. The club released a centenary emblem to commemorate the occasion. To also coincide with the centenary year, Souths opted to alter their logo by removing the red and green oval from their emblem for a solid white rabbit with the words South Sydney Rabbitohs set in uppercase type.
South Sydney has used cardinal red and myrtle green colours on its playing jerseys for the vast majority of the club's history. Prior to the establishment of the rugby league club in 1908, the South Sydney rugby union team originally wore a red and green hooped jersey. Some sources have suggested that this combination of colours was due to the local rugby union club being nicknamed the "Redfern Waratahs". The first British inhabitants had often called the waratah a "red fern" instead, hence giving the suburb its name, and ultimately the local rugby club its emblem. Red and green dominate the colours of the waratah and hence, possibly, the South Sydney Rugby League Football Club adopted these colours for their jerseys. However, the suburb of Redfern was named in honour of William Redfern, one of the first doctors of the colony, who treated convicts and poor settlers as well as the wealthy.
The club's jersey has been a hooped-styled one comprising alternating red and green, and has been used for the vast majority of the club's history. In 1945 and 1946 the club broke with this tradition and used a green design with a red "V" around the collar, before reverting to the original hoop style. From 1980 to 1984 the team played in a strip which saw the inclusion of white hoops within a predominately green design with a central red stripe and was affectionately known as the "Minties" jersey (so-called due to its apparent similarity to the wrapper design of the popular sweet). With the introduction of "away" jerseys towards the end of the 20th century, the club initially introduced a predominantly white jersey for away matches which was changed to a predominantly black one for the 2006 season.
Before the start of the 2007 season, the club announced that the away jersey would be styled identically to the traditional home jersey, with the exception of sponsorship and the rabbit emblem, which has been styled similarly to the one that initially featured on jerseys in the 1960s. For season 2009, the rabbit emblem is black for home matches whilst the emblem is the original white for away matches.
The playing shorts worn were historically black, though in the late 1970s the club adopted green shorts with a red vertical stripe. This was then superseded by the white shorts of the "Minties" outfit. When the club subsequently reverted to their traditional playing strip, the decision was made to wear black shorts once more. In 2008 the Rabbitohs wore white shorts to match the white stripe running down the side of their jersey.
The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club (precursor to the current corporate entity) was formed, under the original 1908 articles of association with the NSWRL competition, to represent the Sydney municipalities of Alexandria, Botany, Mascot, Randwick, Waterloo, and Zetland.
During the early years of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, "home games" were not assigned very often. However, South Sydney played most of their games at the Royal Agricultural Society Ground (Sydney Showground) from 1908 until the club's departure in 1920. From 1911 onwards, the Sydney Sports Ground was also used interchangeably with the Agricultural Ground over a decade for hosting matches. In 1947 the club played its final season at the Sports Ground, before relocating to Redfern Oval in 1948. It was here that team played in the heart of the club's territory and played the vast majority of its allocated home matches.
In 1988, the club began to play in the Sydney Football Stadium, just built upon the former Sydney Sports Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground No. 2 Oval. The side continued to play here up until 2005, with the exception of 2000 and 2001 when South Sydney was absent from the premiership. During 2004–2005, when the Rabbitoh's contract with Sydney Football Stadium was about to expire, new home grounds were investigated at Gosford, North Sydney Oval and Telstra Stadium (now ANZ Stadium). Eventually the decision was made to relocate to Telstra Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park. The move was generally not well received by the fans, but provided considerably more income for the club, which was several million dollars in the red at the end of 2005.
In 2006 the club relocated home games to ANZ Stadium in Sydney's west (known as Telstra Stadium until the conclusion of 2007). In February 2008, the Rabbitohs renewed their partnership with ANZ Stadium to play NRL home games and home finals at the venue for the next 10 years, commencing season 2008. The agreement runs until the end of 2017, superseding the inaugural three-year home ground arrangement at ANZ Stadium that started in 2006. During 2008 the City of Sydney Council completed a $19.5 million upgrade and renovation of Redfern Oval. From season 2009, the upgraded Redfern Oval will provide the Rabbitohs with training facilities and a venue for hosting pre-season and exhibition matches.
As well as hosting Rabbitohs games, the stadium is also home to SEDA College NSW who host their rugby based curriculum at the venue.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs continue to have a large supporter base in their traditional areas of South-eastern Sydney, despite having moved from Redfern Oval two decades ago, while also enjoying wide support throughout other rugby league playing centres around the country. The official South Sydney supporter group is known as "The Burrow." While their active supporter group is known as "Gate38" which is made up of young men who were involved in the "scumgate" scandal in 2013.
The Rabbitohs have the highest football club membership in the National Rugby League, with membership exceeding 35,000 as of June 23, 2015. That member number also includes more than 11,000 ticketed members, the highest of the Sydney-based NRL clubs. It was announced during the 2010 Charity Shield game that both St George Illawarra and Souths had exceeded the 10,000 milestone, making the 2010 season the first time two Sydney clubs had entered the season with 10,000 ticketed members each. The club has members from every state in Australia and international members in 22 countries. Football club membership had peaked at some 22,000 when the club was re-admitted to the National Rugby League for season 2002.
"Group 14", a collection of club backers including businessmen, politicians, musicians and media personalities, was formed before the Rabbitohs' exclusion from the NRL in 1999. Members include Andrew Denton, Anthony Albanese, Deirdre Grusovin, Mike Whitney, Laurie Brereton, Rodger Corser, Michael Daley, Mikey Robins, Ron Hoenig, Nick Greiner, Ray Martin, Cathy Freeman, Candice Warner, Michael Cheika, Matthew Guy and former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally. They contributed to South Sydney's bid for reinstatement, following the club's exclusion from the competition at the end of the 1999 season. A sustained campaign of public support that year, unprecedented in Australian sporting history, saw 40,000 people attended a rally in the Sydney CBD in support of South Sydney's cause. In 2000 and 2001, public street marches took place in Sydney with in excess of 80,000 people rallying behind the Rabbitohs. The club also has a number of high-profile supporters as well, many of whom were dominant figures in their battle to be readmitted into the premiership in 2000 and 2001. In 2007, supporters set a new club record for attendance with an average home crowd figure of 15,702 being the highest ever since the introduction of the home and away system in 1974.
Reggie the RabbitEdit
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Reggie the Rabbit is the Rabbitohs mascot. The mascot first appeared in lifesize form in 1968 after celebrity fan Don Lane brought back a suit from the US in time for the 1968 grand final against Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, won by the Bunnies 13–9. Perhaps the most notable of the early Reggies was the club's groundsman Reg Fridd. Standing just over four feet tall, the Rabbitohs lured the diminutive Kiwi from a touring production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the same troupe that had yielded the second Reggie, Roscoe Bova, killed in a car accident in the early 1970s. Most teams in the National Rugby League maintain mascots. During 2000 and 2001, when Souths was excluded from the NRL, Anth Courtney was Reggie Rabbit appearing at the second Town Hall rally and at games at Redfern Oval as well as being active in travelling extensively around the state to attend fundraisers as Reggie Rabbit.
South Sydney Leagues ClubEdit
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Juniors at the JunctionEdit
Juniors @ The Junction (Since 2009) – The result of a merger with South Sydney Junior Rugby League Club (Kingsford) and the struggling Maroubra Returned and Services League (RSL) Club. The club is on the site of the former Maroubra RSL club on Anzac Parade and Haig Street.
The Juniors on HawkesburyEdit
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Kit sponsors and manufacturersEdit
A book, The Book of Feuds, chronicling the rivalries of the Rabbitohs with their NRL competitors was written by Mark Courtney at the instigation of Russell Crowe. It has been used as a motivational tool before Souths matches and was later released on sale to the public.
Sydney Roosters – The Rabbitohs and their fans have built up rivalries with other clubs, particularly the Sydney Roosters (Eastern Suburbs), the only other remaining foundation club. The Rabbitohs and the Roosters share inner-Sydney territory, resulting in a strong rivalry since 1908 when Souths beat Eastern Suburbs in the first grand final 14–12. Games between the neighbouring foundation clubs have since formed part of the oldest "local derby" in the competition. The rivalry increased after 1950 due to conflict between junior territories and since the 1970s escalated once more as both clubs drew key players away from each other (Souths lost internationals Ron Coote, Elwyn Walters and Jim Morgan to the Roosters from their last era of premiership winning teams, whilst more recently Souths lured key forwards Bryan Fletcher, Peter Cusack and centre Shannon Hegarty away from the Roosters 2002 premiership winning side) & later Michael Crocker. In Round 1, 2010, the Rabbitohs and Roosters became the first clubs to play 200 matches against each other. The Roosters' 36–10 victory put the ledger at 105 games won by South Sydney, 90 by the Roosters (Eastern Suburbs) and 5 drawn. To celebrate their rivalry, the Rabbitohs and Roosters contest Ron Coote Cup annually.
St George Dragons and St George Illawarra Dragons – The long-standing rivalry against the Dragons results in the annual Charity Shield match, originally played against the original St George Dragons and now (since their merger with Illawarra Steelers) played against the current team, St George Illawarra.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles – Manly have, since 1970, purchased many of Souths' star players including John O'Neill, Ray Branighan, Ian Roberts,[note 4] and more recently Luke Burgess and Dylan Walker.
Wests Tigers – The rivalry with Wests continues from the historical rivalry between Souths and one of the teams that merged to form Wests, Balmain. The rivalry with Balmain began in 1909 when both teams agreed to boycott the final which was being held as curtain raiser to a Kangaroos v Wallabies match. As agreed, Balmain did not turn up. However, Souths did turn up and were officially awarded the Premiership when they kicked off to an empty half of the field.  In the 1969 NSWRFL season enmity was again fueled between the clubs with Balmain's controversial[note 5] victory against the Rabbitohs in the grand final that year.
|Top 30 Squad - 2020 Season||Development Players||Coaching Staff|
Updated: 14 August 2020
In 2002 on the Rabbitohs readmission to the competition, The Magnificent XIII, a team consisting of great South Sydney players over the years was selected by a panel of rugby league journalists and former Souths players and coaches. The team consists of 17 players (four being reserves) and a coach representing the South Sydney Rabbitohs Football Club from 1908 through to 2002.
Foundation (1908) to Exclusion (1999)Edit
|Season||Ladder Position||Finals Result|
|1912||4th||Did Not Qualify|
|1915||4th||Did Not Qualify|
|1917||2nd||Did Not Qualify|
|1919||6th||Did Not Qualify|
|1936||7th||Did Not Qualify|
|1940||6th||Did Not Qualify|
|1945||Wooden Spoon (8th)||Did Not Qualify|
|1946||Wooden Spoon (8th)|
|1958||8th||Did Not Qualify|
|1962||Wooden Spoon (10th)|
|1966||6th||Did Not Qualify|
|1973||7th||Did Not Qualify|
|1975||Wooden Spoon (12th)||Did Not Qualify|
|1981||9th||Did Not Qualify|
|1985||9th||Did Not Qualify|
|1988||8th||Did Not Qualify|
|1990||Wooden Spoon (16th)||Did Not Qualify|
|2000||Excluded from competition|
Since 2002 readmissionEdit
|2002||24||5||0||19||14 / 15||Craig Coleman||Adam Muir||Reinstated into the NRL Competition|
|2003||24||3||0||21||15 / 15||X||Paul Langmack||Bryan Fletcher|
|2004||24||5||2||17||15 / 15||X||Paul Langmack
|Second Wooden Spoon in a row, midseason coach change|
|2005||24||9||1||14||13 / 15||Shaun McRae||Bryan Fletcher, Peter Cusack||Bryan Fletcher stripped of captaincy.|
|2006||24||3||0||21||15 / 15||X||Peter Cusack|
|2007||24||12||0||12||7 / 16||X||Jason Taylor||Roy Asotasi, David Kidwell||First Finals appearance since 1989 with new coach Jason Taylor|
|2008||24||8||0||16||14 / 16||Equalled the 2nd biggest comeback in NRL history. After trailing 28–4 after fifty minutes,
the Rabbitohs won the match 29–28.
|2009||24||11||0||13||10/16||Roy Asotasi||100th Season|
|2012||24||16||0||8||3/16||X||Michael Maguire||Michael Crocker, Roy Asotasi, John Sutton, Matt King, Sam Burgess||The season ended with a Preliminary Final loss to the Bulldogs.|
|2013||24||18||0||6||2/16||X||John Sutton||The season ended with a Preliminary Final loss to Manly.|
|2015||24||13||0||11||7/16||X||Greg Inglis||World Club Challenge, Auckland Nines champions.|
|2016||24||9||0||15||12/16||Sam Burgess returns after stint in Rugby Union|
|2017||24||9||0||15||12/16||Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess||Captain Greg Inglis missed the entirety of the season following an ACL tear in Round 1.|
|2018||24||16||0||8||3/16||X||Anthony Seibold||Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess||The season ended with a Preliminary Final loss to the Roosters.|
|2019||24||16||0||8||3/16||X||Wayne Bennett||Sam Burgess, Cody Walker||Captain Greg Inglis was injured in Round 2 and retired two months later. The season ended with a|
- New South Wales Rugby League, Australian Rugby League and National Rugby League Premierships: 21
- 1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2014
- Premiership runners-up: 13
- 1910, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1949, 1952, 1965, 1969
- New South Wales Rugby League, Australian Rugby League and National Rugby League minor premierships: 17
- 1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1932, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1989
- City Cup: 4
- 1912, 1921, 1924, 1925
- Tooth Cup: 1
- Sports Ground Cup: 2
- 1914, 1915
- League Cup: 5
- 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1922
- New South Wales Rugby League Club Championships: 9
- 1932, 1933, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1989
- Holden Cup minor premierships: 1
- Holden Cup runners-up: 1
- Pre-Season Cup titles: 4
- 1966, 1969, 1972, 1978
- Tooheys Challenge: 1
- Sevens: 1
- Charity Shield: 18
- 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- 1913, 1914, 1917, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1945, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1966, 1968, 1983
- Third Grade: 10
- 1908, 1912, 1918, 1925, 1928, 1933, 1962, 1969, 1981, 1986
- 1962, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1978
The George Piggins Medal is the award given to the Rabbitohs player determined to have been the "best and fairest" throughout an NRL season. The inaugural winner of the award in 2003 was Bryan Fletcher. In 2013, John Sutton & Greg Inglis became the first joint winners of the award.
Statistics and recordsEdit
South Sydney are the most successful club in terms of honours and individual player achievements in the history of NSW rugby league.
The club achievements include:
- The Rabbitohs have won the most first grade premierships (21) during the history of elite rugby league competition in Australia.
- Souths have also won the most reserve grade[note 6] premierships (20).
- The club has the distinction of being the only team to win a premiership in their inaugural season (1908).
- The club also has the distinction of scoring the most points (42), most tries (8) and most goals (9) in a grand final, all achieved against Manly in 1951.
- Souths' 1925 first grade side is one of six New South Wales sides to ever go through a season undefeated. The club won the premiership in all three grades in 1925, a feat only repeated on three other occasions (Balmain Tigers in 1915 and 1916 and St George Dragons in 1963).
- In 2008, the Rabbitohs equalled the second biggest comeback in Australian Rugby League history. After being down 28–4 after 53 minutes against the North Queensland Cowboys, the Rabbitohs won the match 29–28.
- In 2014, the Rabbitohs entered their first Grand Final in 43 years, defeating the Sydney Roosters 32-22 on 26 September 2014 in the Grand Final Qualifier.
- In 2014, the Rabbitohs won their first Grand Final and premership in 43 years, defeating the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-6 on 5 October 2014.
The club's players have also achieved some notable individual game and point scoring milestones:
- John Sutton holds the record for the most first grade games for the club, having played 283 matches since 2004. Nathan Merritt, Bob McCarthy, Craig Coleman and Eric Simms are the only other players to have played over 200 matches, having taken to the field in 219, 211, 208 and 206 games respectively.
- Jack Rayner holds the individual record of the most grand final successes as a captain (5) and coach (5) achieved between 1950 and 1955.
- Eric Simms holds the club record for the most points, tallying 1841 points between 1965 and 1975.
- Eric Simms scored 265 points on his own for South Sydney in 1969 and this tally along with ones achieved in 1970 and 1967 remain unsurpassed by any other player at the club. The 1969 tally was once a league record, and has since been broken by a number of players at other clubs.
- Eric Simms still holds a club and competition record for the most goals (112 goals and 19 field goals) in a season, most career field goals (86) and most field goals in a game (5).
- Nathan Merritt broke Benny Wearing's record for the most tries scored (144) by an individual while playing for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, whilst scoring his 145th try against Penrith at Centrebet Stadium on 11 April 2014. Merritt is Souths highest ever try scorer with 146 tries between 2002 and 2014.
- Nathan Merritt equaled the South Sydney club record of 5 tries in a match against Parramatta at ANZ Stadium in a 56-6 win, joining greats such as Harold Horder, Johnny Graves and Ian Moir.
- Johnny Graves' tally of 29 points in a match against Eastern Suburbs in 1952 remains the club record for the most individual points in a match. Had this feat been scored as it is today it would have stood at 32 points.
- Les Brennan's 29 tries in 19 games in 1954 remains a club record, having broken Johnny Graves' tally of 28 in 17 games set just three years earlier.
- During his career Bob McCarthy scored 100 tries for the club, the most by a forward.
- During game 2 in the 2012 finals series Adam Reynolds became the second player in Souths history to score 200 points in one season after Eric Simms.
- Alex Johnston equaled the South Sydney club record of 5 tries in a match against Penrith at ANZ Stadium in a 42-14 win, joining greats such as Nathan Merritt, Harold Horder, Johnny Graves and Ian Moir.
South Sydney Rabbitohs Win-Loss RecordsEdit
|Win-loss Rates Against All Active Teams (18 June Updated)|
|Teams||Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Points for (Tries-Goals-Field Goals)||Average Points for||Against Points (Tries-Goals-Field Goals)||Average Points against||Win%|
|Gold Coast Titans||17||11||0||6||405 (69-64-1)||23.82||312 (56-42-4)||18.35||64.70%|
|Penrith Panthers||83||46||1||36||1597 (280-284-21)||19.24||1516 (256-273-10)||18.27||56.02%|
|Parramatta Eels||127||69||3||55||2391 (427-448-21)||18.83||2157 (387-394-16)||16.98||55.51%|
|Wests Tigers||34||18||0||16||767 (132-116-7)||22.56||853 (154-118-1)||25.09||52.94%|
|Sydney Roosters||223||115||5||103||3455 (643-640-29)||15.49||3508 (637-651-19)||15.73||52.69%|
|North Queensland Cowboys||36||18||1||17||693 (121-103-3)||19.25||839 (145-128-3)||23.31||51.38%|
|St George Illawarra Dragons||33||16||0||17||656 (115-94-8)||19.88||780 (138-114-0)||23.64||48.48%|
|Canterbury Bulldogs||160||74||4||82||2601 (464-516-15)||16.26||2696 (467-522-16)||16.85||47.50%|
|Cronulla Sharks||89||40||3||46||1523 (247-299-12)||17.11||1703 (303-291-6)||19.13||46.62%|
|Manly Sea Eagles||144||67||0||77||2534 (450-467-30)||17.60||2859 (492-529-31)||19.13||46.62%|
|New Zealand Warriors||35||16||0||19||759 (132-114-3)||21.69||927 (167-128-3)||26.49||45.71%|
|Canberra Raiders||56||23||0||33||1004 (175-149-17)||17.93||1413 (251-204-7)||25.23||41.07%|
|Newcastle Knights||42||16||0||26||860 (150-128-4)||20.48||931 (165-132-7)||22.17||38.09%|
|Brisbane Broncos||41||11||1||29||764 (130-122-0)||18.63||1080 (194-151-2)||26.34||28.04%|
|Melbourne Storm||32||5||0||27||409 (74-56-1)||12.78||853 (150-124-5)||26.66||15.62%|
|Win-loss Rates Against All Discontinued Teams|
|Teams||Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Points for (Tries-Goals-Field Goals)||Average Points for||Against Points (Tries-Goals-Field Goals)||Average Points against||Win%|
|Cumberland||1||1||0||0||23 (5-4-0)||23.00||2 (0-1-0)||2.00||100.00%|
|Northern Eagles||1||1||0||0||44 (8-6-0)||44.00||20 (4-2-0)||20.00||100.00%|
|University||31||30||1||0||857 (199-130-0)||27.65||270 (54-54-0)||8.71||98.38%|
|Annandale||21||19||1||1||356 (82-54-1)||16.95||135 (27-27-0)||6.43||92.85%|
|Newcastle08-09||5||4||0||1||86 (24-7-0)||17.20||28 (6-4-1)||5.60||80.00%|
|South Queensland||4||3||0||1||112 (20-16-0)||23.82||312 (56-42-4)||18.35||64.70%|
|Glebe||42||27||0||15||615 (135-97-8)||14.64||350 (66-74-2)||8.33||64.28%|
|Norths||175||104||6||65||3080 (616-569-13)||17.60||2577 (469-525-8)||14.73||61.14%|
|Newtown||153||90||7||56||2510 (501-490-15)||16.41||2084 (384-453-11)||13.62||61.11%|
|Wests||182||106||5||71||3018 (586-573-18)||16.58||2620 (485-532-12)||14.40||59.61%|
|Balmain Tigers||178||95||3||80||2707 (523-519-19)||15.21||2649 (496-529-6)||14.88||54.21%|
|Gold Coast||18||9||1||8||318 (56-46-2)||17.67||342 (60-50-2)||19.00||52.77%|
|Perth||2||1||0||1||38 (6-7-0)||19.00||36 (6-6-0)||18.00||50.00%|
|St George||163||69||2||92||2364 (434-483-19)||14.50||2857 (535-563-15)||17.53||42.94%|
|Illawarra||31||12||2||17||523 (88-85-5)||16.87||625 (107-99-4)||20.16||41.93%|
|Adelaide||1||0||0||1||18 (3-0-0)||18.00||34 (7-3-0)||34.00||0.00%|
- In Australia, a foundation club is one that played in the first season of competition. South Sydney played in the first season of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, some call it the predecessor to the National Rugby League competition.
- Reference to Jack Gibson as a "Super Coach" is common terminology in Australian rugby league circles given Gibson's outstanding coaching record – see: "Super coach Gibson salutes his favourite players". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 14 August 2003. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- The St George Dragons and Illawarra Steelers merged into the St George Illawarra Dragons in 1998, the Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies merged to form the Wests Tigers in 1999 whilst also in the same year the Manly Sea Eagles and North Sydney Bears (who were excluded from the competition on failing to meet solvency criteria) merged into the Northern Eagles (the merger was subsequently dissolved with Manly re-entering the competition in 2003).
- Key Souths players purchased by Manly included internationals John O'Neill, Ray Branighan, Elwyn Walters, Mark Carroll, Terry Hill, Jim Serdaris and Ian Roberts and other stars such as Bob Moses, Tom Mooney and Craig Field.
- Balmain players feigned injury in order to slow down the game, disrupt Souths attacking momentum and run-down the clock to full-time.
- Up until 2002, the second division of rugby league in New South Wales was Reserve Grade/Presidents Cup/First Division Premiers; since then, it has been the NSWRL Premier League.
- "Contact Us". South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
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- Ian Heads, South Sydney, Pride of the League, Lothian, 2000.
- Season 1908 Archived 6 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine from the Rugby League Tables & Statistics website Archived 21 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "The Balmainiacs of 1909" RL1908.com by Sean Fagan. Archived 13 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Season 1925 Archived 17 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine from the Rugby League Tables & Statistics website Archived 21 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- In 1925 rugby league journalist Claude Corbett nicknamed the club the "Pride of the League" – see page 3 of Ian Heads' book South Sydney, Pride of the League, Lothian, 2000. On the internet Souths are referred to as the Pride of the League on the Sydney Olympic Park website: Sydney Olym hipic Park. Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Reference is also made in the official history of the South Sydney Rugby League Football Club by Tom Brock titled South Sydney, Pride of the League, published in 1994. This is mentioned in Mr Brocks' biography: Tom Brock Biography Archived 15 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine at the Australian Society for Sports History website. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- See the article 10 of the Best – 1955: The Miracle of '55 by Glenn Jackson in Souths The People's Team, edited by Angus Fontaine, League Week, ACP Publishing, 2002.
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- Season 1965 Archived 19 May 2013 at WebCite from the Rugby League Tables & Statistics website Archived 21 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- See the chapter Premiers No More in Mark Courtney's Moving the Goalposts, Halstead Press, 2000.
- 1970 Grand Final, Souths v Manly from the History of Australian Rugby League reproduced on the Era of the Biff website.
- A full description of the famous incident is in the article 10 of the Best – 1970: The Jawdropper by Glenn Jackson in Souths The People's Team, edited by Angus Fontaine, League Week, ACP Publishing, 2002.
- See reference to John Bucknall from the Soaring Sea Eagles website players page.
- See the article 10 of the Best – 1981: The Droughtbreaker by Glenn Jackson in Souths The People's Team, edited by Angus Fontaine, League Week, ACP Publishing, 2002.
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- See "Grassroots Ethics: The Case of Souths versus News Corporation", pages 216–229 of Remote Control: New Media, New Ethics by Michael Moller, edited by Catharine Lumby and Elspeth Probyn, Cambridge University Press, 2003 at Google Books
- See South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club Ltd v News Limited FCA 862 (6 July 2001), decision of the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia.
- See "The Souths Revival", page 150 of Strategic Sports Marketing by David Shilbury, Shayne Quick and Hans Westerbeek, Allen & Unwin, 2003 at Google Books
- Episode 2 – What happened at the Handover Ceremony? from the "South Sydney Story" website (www.southsydneystory.com). Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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