It would mean so much more for South Sydney to hold the NRL premiership trophy aloft than for any other team.
A foundation club with an illustrious history, including a record 20 premierships and greats of the game like Clive Churchill and Ron Coote, the Rabbitohs have had a tumultuous 41 years since their last grand final success in 1971. Crippling financial problems, exclusion from the competition, the fight back, five wooden spoons, no finals appearances between 1990 and 2006… What a story.
The game too has suffered huge blows in recent years with the Melbourne Storm scandal, and nothing could repair it like a Souths victory. You know what they say: when Souths are going well, rugby league is going well.
I think it’s important to mention that I am not a Bunnies fan. I won’t disclose who I support for fear of being disowned by my own kind, but I would hazard a guess that I am not the only non-Souths fan who would love to see them go all the way. They might be the most successful team in the history of the game, but for many league followers none of that success has come in their lifetime. In fact, in their lifetime – in my lifetime – Souths are right up there as the most unsuccessful team in rugby league.
Bunnies-Doggies. That’d just be the perfect grand final, wouldn’t it? Two famous, historic Sydney clubs, both with passionate fans, duking it out in front of a sellout crowd at ANZ Stadium. Greg Inglis vs. Benny Barba: two of the most exciting talents in the game. Sam Burgess, Dave Taylor, James Graham, Josh Reynolds…
It’s been a while since we’ve had a really hyped all-Sydney GF. The last three have all featured the Roosters (against Penrith in 2003, Canterbury in 2004 and the Dragons in 2010), and the boys in the East just don’t evoke the same passion other Sydney teams.
The timing is right. Last year it was Manly-New Zealand. No disrespect to the Warriors, but when they make the big one it just isn’t the same. Ditto for the Storm, who were in four of the last six deciders.
As for the Queensland teams, the fans up there have had more than enough to cheer about over the past seven horrendous years (yeah, I’m talking about Origin). It’s time for NSW to taste some glory. Glory, glory to South Sydney.