By Steve Mavin
A pictorial tribute to rugby league superstar Greg Inglis who joined the Rabbitohs ten years ago in 2011.
Our 2005 footage shows a young Cameron Murray dominating his South Eastern opposition.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs record in matches against the Melbourne Storm isn’t good. In fact it’s terrible & at the time of writing at the end of the 2021 season the Storm have won 30 of their 35 encounters including the first match in 1998, 14-6.
Souths have allowed 951 points or an average of just over 27 points a game. Total points scored by the Bunnies against our Southern nemesis – 443 for an average of a miserly 12 & a half points.
When we play the Storm you can expect us to lose handsomely. Even now with our top 4 Grand Final contending side we still haven’t beaten them since 2018.
Most rugby league fans will know why this deplorable record has happened but for those that don’t or need a reminder let me enlighten you. The Storm had the ‘Big 3’, GI & a coach nicknamed ‘Belly Ache’.
Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk & Greg Inglis are superstars of our game. Mix in legends like Glenn Lazarus & have them coached by Craig Bellamy & you have don’t just have a team you’ve created a dynasty.
The Melbourne Storm have a reputation for getting things right except of course for the salary cap cheating scandal that brought them disgrace & stripped them of titles that were won with an unfair advantage.
The fact the Storm illegally kept players they shouldn’t have does somewhat taint their dominant record against us but we’ll just move on.
Apart from that massive blemish the club seems to continually produce talent. The big 3 & Greg Inglis are all gone now but others have filled the void – Cameron Munster, Brandon Smith aka ‘The Block of Cheese’ & Harry Grant are all exceptional talents to say the least.
You get the idea they are hard to beat but it has been done & this article focuses on the first time that happened in 2003 at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Rabbitohs 41 – Storm 14, Sunday 8th June 2003.
The 2003 Rabbitohs coached by Paul Langmack only won 3 games that year on the way to the wooden spoon but 1 of those wins was their maiden defeat of the Storm.
Hollywood star Russell Crowe sat on the sidelines with Langmack & blue shirt trainer Terry Coulits.
“Russell Crowe was filming the movie Master & Commander at this time.” says Terry Coulits. “I remember after the game Russell made a speech that had us all in stitches.”
Crowe was also seen standing with former Rabbitoh Sean Garlick in the crowd.
Souths winger Wise Kativerata scored a hat trick that day, Andrew Hart managed a double & a young Nathan Merritt was not surprisingly among the scorers as well.
Long time NRL photographer Colin Whelan captured some great images of the historic day for us to look back on.
Our next attempt to right the ledger is in round 2 of the 2022 season down at Melbourne’s home ground AAMI Park. Good luck boys win number 6 is due.
No its not Lang Park during State of Origin, it’s the S.C.G in 1958 Australia v Great Britain.
Life can be tough for touch judges & referees. We don’t know much about this picture other than it’s a 1958 test match & the touchy on the left is former 1st grade rugby player Jimmy Tubridy & the picture was taken at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
We can positively assume by the bottles & debri that have been hurled onto the ground that the crowd is upset with something or someone, perhaps the referee or maybe Jimmy or his fellow touchy.
Below are some of our favourite pics of refs & touch judges as a tribute to the men & women who work so hard to officiate our game.
Darren Brown reads the play brilliantly for the Rabbitohs to score a try against the Roosters in 1990 at the Sydney Football Stadium.
By Steve Mavin
When the Rabbitohs took on the Bears at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday the 7th of May 1989 the game wasn’t televised.
This footage was the standard film for the day shot from one camera in the grandstand & a VHS tape was given to each coach after the game so they could analyse their teams performance.
When coach George Piggins was finished with these tapes he would give them to me if I requested them, which I usually did if I scored a try like I did in this one.
The first time I was given a game tape by George was in round 4, 1987 when I scored my first & second try against the Panthers at Redfern. That day I was given the game ball as man of the match so that tape was a precious piece of memorabilia for me & my family.
Sadly that recording was accidentally erased when I leant the tape to my cousin to watch & her husband taped over it not realising what was in the VHS machine.
A few other tapes did survive & all of them have been shared on our Rabbitohs TV YouTube channel. All these file tapes have no sound so I have called some of the action over the top to add some interest to footage that might otherwise have seemed a bit lifeless.
This Norths game has some great action but in another unfortunate twist the tries scored by Graham Lyons & myself have been lost. There is however 4 pointers scored by Mario Fenech, Phil Blake & Greg Florimo with a little punch up too.
Darren Brown has a chat with former Rabbitoh from Outlaw Boxing, Mark ‘Koogs’ Kyle. Don’t miss the all in brawl footage from 1985 at Redfern Oval plus the bonus Koogs knockouts at the end.
WOW – It’s great to see Koogs doing well and please send him my best regards.
In the early 80s Botany Rams and Coogee Wombats young blokes absolutely hated each other and every game invariably ended up in a stink. So as we became A graders in the mid 80s that rivalry had not ceased.
It culminated one day down at Coogee Oval after the years of built-up tension would finally come to a head. Everyone in the Souths Juniors community knew that this game was going to blow, even the referees knew this game was going to blow and put their best refs on the job.
On The Wommies side was Koogs, a man who would eventually become Australia’s heavyweight boxing champion and on the Botany side was a man who would eventually become two times world heavyweight kickboxing champion Grant “The Bomber” Barker. The ground was packed that day not to see the football but to see the stink between these two champions.
Both of them came out onto the ground with both hands strapped with the inners of a boxer without there gloves. In the first scrum both of them packed in the front row opposite each other and I was the Botany hooker, so I thought let’s get this party started and put one on Heno’s chin who was the opposite hooker.
This would have to be the best all in brawl I’ve ever been involved in on a football game without actually being involved in, because we all stood back like kids in a school yard brawl in a circle and let Koogs and Bomber just go for it.
It was one of the best one on one fights I have ever seen and even said to Micky Harcombe who was reffing it to just, call time out and stand back and watch one of the greatest fights of all time.
They went hammer and tong at each other for about 5 minutes in the best stink I ever saw. Their fight ended up a a draw and I even ended up arm in arm with Heno agreeing how good it was and how privileged we were to have ringside seats.
It was a privilege to watch these two guys go hard at each other but even more of a privilege to see them go on to become champions in their own rights.
Never to be replicated.
By Ronan Byrne
Today we had a chat with the Federal Member for Kingsford Smith Matt Thistlethwaite on Rabbitohs TV.