The official South Sydney Rabbitohs Podcast. Grant ‘Chaps’ Chappell & former players Steve Mavin & Darren Brown dig deep into all things South Sydney & interview special guests each week. Please subscribe to our Rabbitohs TV YouTube channel.
It’s Thursday the 16th of September 2021 & there’s 3 huge online events occurring today. Thanks to the beauty of technology you can take part in 1, 2 or all 3!
The first live event is a special edition of our weekly ‘Suttos Say’ segment.
This afternoon from 3.30pm will be the first live edition of Suttos Say allowing you to interact with our 2014 Grand Final winning captain.
Prize winner Keiran Macklin will be joining us too after he subscribed by email to our website & was drawn out at random on our ‘Team List Tuesday’ show.
During the show today in the live chat section you can show your appreciation & make your comment stand out by purchasing YouTube’s Super Chat & Super Stickers. Prices start at $2 & range up to $50 or more. This is a good way to help out the team at Rabbitohs TV and an even better way to interact with us.
We give everyone a live shoutout that sends us a Super Chat or Super Sticker on the show & today you can ask John Sutton a question that he will respond to using this new feature.
Click HERE to visit Rabbitohs TV & join us from 3.30pm.
Events 2 & 3 both take place at the same time but this won’t prevent you from taking part in both simultaneously, here’s why.
Adam Reynolds home auction brought to you by NG Farah Real Estate is taking place via Zoom from 6.30pm & The Juniors Jumbo Online Raffle is also on at 6.30pm. Tickets for the online raffle can be pre purchased with no need to actually watch the live draw so this will allow you to get involved with both events at the same time.
We promoted the sale of our departing club captains home this week in an article comparing it to Graceland, the famous dwelling of the one & only Elvis. This is a rare opportunity for a Souths fans to buy & live in the home of a Rabbitohs legend.
It’s an exciting time for Souths fans as the Rabbitohs are just one win away from a second Grand Final appearance in 7 years.
The Bunnies will meet the winner of the Sea Eagles v Roosters semi-final clash coming up at 7.50pm this Friday the 17th of September at BB Print Stadium South Mackay, Queensland.
As the mighty Rabbitohs enjoy the week off to prepare for the Prelim final we take a look at the two elimination semi-finals coming up & the path the Bunnies face to progress to the title game.
Sunny Mackay is 950km north of Brisbane, approximately half way between Rockhampton & Townsville, 150km south of Airlie Beach. It’s a long long way from either Brookvale or Bondi but that is what the teams face thanks to this dreaded global pandemic.
Manly will be desperate to bounce back from the 40-12 defeat they suffered to the Storm in week 1 of the finals while the Chooks will be hoping that they can continue to defy the odds after their 2021 squad has been decimated by injury.
The Sea Eagles welcome back hooker Lachlan Croker but the ‘Evil Empire’ will need to find another number 9 after Sam Verrills lost his bid to have his high tackle charge downgraded.
The only way Verrills will see more game time this year is if the Roosters beat Manly then Souths to make the Grand Final.
The Roosters get a boost with Nat Butcher making his return but that has been countered by yet another injury blow after Siosiua Taukeiaho was ruled out with a leg injury.
Souths fans will be hoping both teams hammer each other in a torrid extra time encounter to leave them even more vulnerable the following week.
Either way I’m confident we can beat whichever team we face.
Souths took care of Manly 26-12 back in March & have defeated the Roosters twice, the latest victory a 54-12 flogging. Bring them on!
The Panthers take on the Eels at 7.50pm on Saturday the 17th of September at the same venue in South Mackay.
The Eels welcome back Ryan Matterson while the Panthers will be bolstered by the return of Dylan Edwards, Moses Leota & Scott Sorensen.
The Eels come off a somewhat less than convincing elimination final win over the Knights while Ivan Cleary & his Panthers will attempt to pick up the pieces of a demoralising loss to the Rabbits.
Once this weeks semi finals are over both preliminary finals & the Grand Final will all be played at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
The Rabbitohs will take on the winner of the Manly v Roosters game at 7.50pm on Friday 24th of September. The grand final will be played at 7.30pm (AEDT) on Sunday the 3rd of October so if the Bunnies win they will have a 9 day break to prepare for the big one.
The Storm await the winner of the Eels v Panthers at 4pm on Saturday the 25th of September. The winner of that game gets an 8 day break going into the Grand Final.
The earlier kickoff than usual is to avoid a clash with the AFL Grand Final that starts at 7:15pm AEST in Perth on the same day.
The Melbourne v Western Bulldogs 2021 AFL Grand Final is the first AFL premiership-decider to be held in Perth and the second held outside of Victoria as a result of the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in recent seasons.
Daylight savings begins on the eve of the NRL Grand Final so kickoff Queensland local time will actually be at 6.30pm (7.30pm in Sydney) for this historic first ever decider outside of New South Wales.
If the games go to script then the Rabbitohs will meet the defending premiers the Melbourne Storm in the Grand Final.
The Storm have been awesome all year & have handed the Rabbitohs two of their four defeats in 2021.
The other two defeats for Souths were at the hands of the Panthers & the fact that we turned the tables on them last week gives me confidence that if we can defend like that again we can beat anyone.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs assignment has been set – win two more games of footy to make it a glorious premiership number 22. Yes Souths let’s do this.
Last Saturday on the day the Rabbitohs defeated the Dragons 20-16 at the Sunshine Coast Stadium we surged past 1k total subscribers, a milestone that we are ecstatic to have achieved.
YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform owned by Google. It was launched in February 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. It is the second most visited website, with more than one billion monthly users who collectively watch more than one billion hours of videos each day. As of May 2019, videos were being uploaded at a rate of more than 500 hours of content per minute.
Number 10 | Damien Cook gives his jersey to Noela Cini
Browny says “I was at this game and saw this gesture happen live. It just shows you that Damien Cook is all class and how much the fans mean to him. Well done Cookie.”
Mavo says “I know the Cini family well, they are the best & this presentation to Noela by Cookie is a moment they will never forget.”
This video is what YouTube now call a ‘Short’ with a red S symbol on the bottom right corner. A Short is a video shot with the phone or camera in the upright portrait position. The format is commonly used by TikTok, Instagram story & Snapchat.
The preferred method for YouTube videos is when they are shot in landscape so that the screen appears like it would on TV or in the cinema.
Number 9 | “I’ve been playing fullback my whole life…I’m ready for the challenge.” Blake Taaffe
Blake did exceptionally well in his first appearance before the media.
Chaps says – “Rookie fullback Blake Taaffe who is filling in for the injured Latrell Mitchell, handled his 1st press conference like a seasoned veteran, answering questions from the media with a smile and a quiet air of confidence.”
“When quizzed by a journalist if Nathan Cleary would target him Blake replied that he had played fullback his whole life & if Cleary targeted him he’d be up for the challenge.”
“It’s the sort of response you expect from a Wayne Bennett coached player.”
Browny says – “Taaffe has a big future & has handled everything that’s been thrown at him so far. The kid plays with high energy, he’s got skill and is as tough as nails.”
Mavo says “I know Blakes’ dad Darren & uncle Brad plus my wife grew up with Blakes mum Dorothy & Darren so I am biased when it comes to young Blake.”
“I would really love to see him succeed in the NRL & show everyone what he can do.”
Browny says – “I found Tallis to be a very respectful and polite young kid. A country boy who loves his footy. Looking forward to watching Tallis progress through the Rabbitohs system.”
Mavo says “Tallis works at my gym in Zetland so I chat to him whenever we cross paths. I also get to watch him up close on the field when I shoot footage of the pathways games. He’s a tough kid & doesn’t mind ripping right in out there on the field.”
Number 7 | All In Brawl, Head Butt & A Try On The Bell | Rabbitohs v Roosters 1988
Mavo says – “Back when I was playing a lot of the games weren’t televised so the only footage was the coaches file tape with no sound shot by one camera from the grandstand.”
“If there was a game that I played ok in George Piggins would give me the VHS tape to keep. Over the years I converted these tapes to DVD then into digital files & to add some interest I’ve narrated a few like the one below.”
Browny says – “Always loved playing against the Roosters and knowing there was going to be a stink.”
“Those games were always full of spite and more often than not we got the win and also won the fight!”
Chaps says – “Any day we beat the ‘Evil Empire’ is a good day.”
Number 6 | Jersey Flegg Relay Final 1986
Mavo says “I used to love racing in the school carnivals & the sprints were my favourite because once I got going I could usually motor home to the finish.”
“In this Flegg relay at the S.C.G. we didn’t get the best start & although I had a rails run we just missed out.”
Browny says – “I remember Mavo as a kid was big, fast and powerful. He was a forward and was as fast as any back in the club.”
“Then he moved to the backs and was a swan diving, try scoring machine. Loved playing with Mavo.”
Les ‘Bundy’ Davidson Can Row
Browny says – “I came into grade as young 18 year old and Bundy taught me how to play tough. He also showed me how to train tough. He once told me you can have all the skill in the world but if you’re not prepared to put in the hard yards off the field you won’t last long.”
“Those words stuck in my head and from that day I trained my ass off and I was rewarded by having a long career in the top grade.”
Mavo says “Bundy is a champion bloke & his sons Reece & Trace are fantastic guys too.”
Number 4 | The 1989 Rabbitohs Have Lunch With George Piggins At The Juniors
Browny says – “What an awesome day. It was a surprise for George and I remember him getting emotional when he saw us all there.”
“We fell short of winning the premiership in 1989 but that moment and being present when George got emotional was worth more than a premiership.”
Mavo says – “We shot some nice footage for this one, it was great to see George happy & also the cameo appearances by the great Bobby Ginman was a highlight.”
Another year & another top 4 finish for the Rabbitohs which is quite a nice thing to say after the club spent so long in the wilderness.
Even more satisfying for me was that I won my bet I have every year with my mate the Roosters fan Con Parris.
Our long-standing wager is the team that finishes highest on the ladder out of the Bunnies & the Evil Empire wins a box of beer for the victor at the others expense.
I don’t remember the last time I collected & even in 2014 when we won the competition, I still had to cough up a slab because the latte sippers finished higher than us on the ladder. That was tough.
Last week the Dragons were terrible for the majority of the game & we saw a couple of youngsters put in eye catching performances in Pete Mamouzelos & Lachy Ilias who scored a try on debut. I thought Davvy Moale did well too & when you consider that he’s only 18 years old the future looks bright for our emerging talent.
We all know the story that the Rabbitohs have fallen at the last hurdle in 3 consecutive preliminary finals & this year missing one of our best players in Latrell doesn’t leave me filled with a whole lot of confidence that it won’t happen again.
Even at full strength the Bunnies were up against it. The Storm put 50 on us earlier in the year & the team they’ve picked this week has Harry Grant, Nicho Hynes & Nelson Asofa-Solomona on the bench!
The Panthers have beaten us twice & one of those was also a 50-point hammering.
In good news those last few points I made will be the last of the negativity that you will have to endure in this article.
I co-host Rabbitohs Radio & bleed red & green so let’s get to the good stuff.
We played sensational footy for the first 30 minutes to lead 12 nil against the Panthers in round 23 at Suncorp. We went on to concede 25 unanswered points but that was assisted by some nauseating officiating.
Points tend to flow on the back of an 11-2 penalty count so on an even playing field I believe we can beat them this time around up in Townsville.
Our bench is almost as impressive as the Storms & looks equally as good as the Panthers if not better.
The Panthers do have Tevita Pangai Junior & Liam Martin sitting on the pine but we have Jai Arrow, Benji, Jacob Host & big Tommy as our super subs.
The key to victory I believe lies in our spine & in particular in the hands of Cody Walker. We need him to rise to the occasion on the big stage & produce the type of playmaking that saw him set up a 1000 tries this year.
We need Cody to lead us all the way to the gf & take care of some unfinished business in the big games.
Captain Reyno has been tremendous all year, the way he digs into the line & straightens our attack is so valuable. It’s a big reason that our lethal left side punishes defences & allows AJ to score with ridiculous ease. We need to see that through the finals & Adams’ magical kicking game has to be at it’s very best to put pressure on the opposition & give us the vital field position required for our star backline to shine.
We definitely need Cookie to give his usual great service from dummy half but it’s vital that he runs the ball & keeps the big Panthers pack honest around the ruck.
If Damien can bust out a few of his darting bursts that we love so much then the flow on effect from that equates to more space on the edges for our attack.
Rookie Blake Taaffe played well last week & although there were a couple of forgettable moments he brings the ball back efficiently, can make a break & has the ability to set up tries like he’s done twice already in the limited game time he’s had.
We’ve interviewed Blake on our podcast, I know his dad Darren & uncle Brad so I am perhaps a bit biased but I really hope this kid can find some space out there on Saturday night & explode through a few holes to show everyone what he’s capable of. Blake has plenty of ability so don’t be surprised if you see him do some handy work for this team.
We need to have great line speed in defence to put pressure on Jarome Luai & especially Nathan Cleary. If we allow their Origin halfback to keep putting up those eye watering bombs it won’t end well & then we have to take care of & field the ones he does get up & away.
A huge defensive effort is essential against a team featuring metre monster Brian To’o, Crichton, Burton, Kikau etc.
Look for big games from our back three, Cameron, Keaon & Jaydn. Cameron will work himself to a standstill & take the line on. Keaon keeps getting better & is a post contact metre beast. Look out for more big shots from Jaydn like the one he put on Fletcher Baker 2 weeks ago.
Let’s roll up the sleeves rip in, go out there & give it to these blokes. Let them know that the mighty Rabbitohs are in town.
The final pieces of the puzzle are the two bookends Junior & the Goat. Junior keeps producing up front & Nico has to be one of the most improved players I’ve ever seen.
Win the battle in the middle, complete at a high rate, have a good kicking game & let the backs finish them off.
If we do that then I’m confident we can win in that magnificent new Townsville stadium that we can’t attend anytime soon.
If we do get rolled then the next test will be an elimination game with either the beatable Eels or a Knights team that limped into the finals.
A fourth shot at a prelim is entirely possible & if Souths can get past that stage who knows what might happen, maybe even number 22.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are pleased to announce their NRL squad for their Qualifying Final against the Penrith Panthers to be played this Saturday 11 September at 7:50pm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
Rabbitohs Head Coach Wayne Bennett has made nine changes to the Rabbitohs’ top 17 that defeated the Dragons in the final round of the regular season last weekend.
Jaydn Su’A will play his 50th NRL game in South Sydney colours this Saturday night having made his club debut against the Sea Eagles in round 17, 2019.
Keaon Koloamatangi makes a welcome return from suspension to the 2nd row, Blake Taaffe keeps the fullback spot & Jaxson Paulo retains the right wing position.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs’ NRL squad for Saturday’s clash with the Panthers is: 1 Blake Taaffe 2 Alex Johnston 3 Dane Gagai 4 Campbell Graham 5 Jaxson Paulo 6 Cody Walker 7 Adam Reynolds (c) 8 Mark Nicholls 9 Damien Cook 10 Junior Tatola 11 Keaon Koloamatangi 12 Jaydn Su’A 13 Cameron Murray Interchange: 14 Benji Marshall 15 Jacob Host 16 Thomas Burgess 17 Jai Arrow 18 Jed Cartwright 19 Braidon Burns 20 Lachlan Ilias 21 Patrick Mago Head Coach – Wayne Bennett
“Good team, mobile forwards.” Grant Chappell
“I like Su’A he’s aggressive in defence, put some hits on. Our defence will win this game.” Darren Brown
Our spine is the key here, if Cookie, Reyno, Cody & Taaffy have big games we win.” Steve Mavin
It’s Father’s Day tomorrow & this 55 year old image of the 1966 Jersey Flegg Premiers features Les Brown, father of Darren from Rabbitohs Radio. Another young player pictured is Frank Curry (father of Ben & Luke) who both played for (#580) & coached the Rabbitohs.
We’ll be presenting a Father’s Day special tomorrow with a recap of the Dragons clash, interviews with Les Brown, Reg Chappell & Dick Mavin, our Remembering A Rabbitoh is league legend Harry Wells & we preview our massive finals week one showdown with the Panthers.
One other reason we present this photo is that 4 members of our victorious 2019 Jersey Flegg team will be playing tonight, Jaxson Paulo, Blake Taaffe, Lachlan Ilias & Peter Mamouzelos. Good luck boys & up the mighty Rabbitohs.
In todays Rabbitohs Zoom press confernce Wayne Bennett confirmed that the team will be 1-17 as named.
Coach Bennett told us that he was pleased that he’s been able to rest a lot of his starting side & provide an opportunity for some of the rest of the squad to gain some valuable game time.
When asked about the fitness of Adam Reynolds, Wayne with tongue firmly in cheek said “If he was a horse we’d spell him”, he then continued “The miracle recoveries he’s made before I’ve got no doubt he’ll be out there next week even if it’s in crutches”.
It was vintage Wayne Bennett today –
“It’s only a distraction if you let it be.”
“If I start listening to the critics it won’t be long before I’m sitting with them.”
“Mark Nicholls is one of the guys you love coaching.”
“The goat epitomises everything that is great about sport and he’s a player that has persevered and worked as hard as anyone not because of the fame or the money that comes with professional sports but because of his love for the game of rugby league.”
“At one stage of his career he was volunteering to work in the South Sydney football club offices for free with Rabbitoh’s C.F.O. Shannon Donato on his days off. He has now become an integral part of one of the greatest seasons in the South Sydney Rabbitohs long and storied history.”
“Mark Nicholls work rate is second to none, he does all the one percenter plays – kick pressure, line speed, quick play the ball, late foot work at the line and all the effort areas that coaches love.”
“You will not meet a nicer person in the game of rugby league than Mark Nicholls.”
We asked Rabbitohs blue shirt & Souths legend John Sutton about Nico & he said –
“Ever since Mark has come to the club he’s been a real hard worker.
“As a front rower he’s really smart, he knows where he has to be in defence. In attack he runs hard & as you’ve seen recently he’s knocked a few people doing that.”
“He has that presence to know where to be, what holes to hit & he can find the tryline. I’ve been impressed by the way he’s going & he seems like he’s just getting better.”
“He’s a great bloke to have around the locker room, he’s one of those guys you know you can rely on.”
“It’s awesome that he gets to lead out the boys this weekend & I’m sure he’s going to do a great job.”
In 2015 Nico was living with his musician mate Jack Biilmann & they made a bet.
If Nico ever scored 2 tries in an NRL game or Jack got one of his songs on the Triple J Hottest 100 then the other one must get a tattoo.
We spoke to Jack & he has allowed us to promote his music on our podcast, socials & Rabbitohs TV YouTube channel. We hope that the exposure we provide might just help one of Jacks songs get over the line on that 100 list.
In our interview with Nico he told us “I feel like I’ve found a bit of a home at South Sydney. I’ve got married (to Perrie) & had a kid (Darcie) & I feel like I’m playing the best footy of my career.
Yes you are playing sensational footy Nico & you’re also a legendary bloke that any young rugby league player can look up to as a role model.
Watching your career soar to the heights it’s at now has been fun to watch & we hope you stay at the club until the end of your career & beyond.