On The Verge Of Greatness – Alex Johnston

By Steve Mavin

When Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston scored his 143rd try last week against the Warriors it took him one step closer to becoming the clubs all time leading try scorer.

Alex Johnston scores a try in the 2014 Grand Final. Photo by Jonathan Ng
Alex Johnston – NRL – Round 9 – Titans v Rabbitohs at Robina, Saturday May 10th 2014. Photo by Colin Whelan

The incredibly talented Nathan Merritt holds the Rabbitohs record with 146 tries and the legendary Benny Wearing sits 2 tries behind him on 144.

Alex Johnston also known as AJ needs just 4 more tries to break the record and there’s a good chance he will do it this year in his 9th season at the club.

Alex Johnston – NRL – Round 17 – Rabbitohs V Titans at ANZ Stadium, Monday the 7th of July 2014. Digital Image by Robb Cox

Merritt achieved his try total in 11 seasons at Souths (with a 2 year 8 try stint at the Sharks in between that we aren’t counting here).

Nathan Merritt – NRL Round 9 – Rabbitohs v Sharks at ANZ Stadium Monday May 6th, 2012. Digital Image by Grant Trouville

When looking at Merritts total we must take into account that his career began in a struggling Souths team that had just been re admitted to the competition.

AJs career began in the glorious 2014 season when the Rabbitohs had become an NRL powerhouse. He made his debut against the Broncos at Lang Park alongside superstars Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess and of course scored a try. Try doubles in games 2 and 3 set AJ on the successful try scoring path that has continued every season since.

Alex Johnston scores for the Rabbitohs in the 2014 Grand Final -. Digital Image Robb Cox

Wearings trys were scored in 13 seasons from 1921-1933, a golden era for the club in which we won 7 premierships.

Benny Wearing

Regardless of the circumstances of those that have come before him one thing is certain, Alex Johnston is a try scoring freak who knows his way to the tryline and is one of the best finishers in NRL history.

Alex Johnston – Round 19 – NRL – Dragons v Rabbitohs at the SCG on July 18, 2015. Digital Image by Mark Nolan.

The all time NRL try scoring record is held by Ken Irvine with 212 tries. At the moment Alex Johnston sits equal 19th but a climb up higher on that ladder is inevitable for the flying Rabbitoh winger.