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Record Breaking Rabbitohs

Andréa Mandadakis

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We’ve all heard about the legendary Souths teams that have won Premierships and players who represented their State and Country, but there are some special South Sydney players that can lay claim to pretty extraordinary feats.

Here are some of the more unique records set by those that have worn the Red and Green, some of which you may never have heard before.

Burgess Bros. – The Record Breaking Brothers

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One of the more recent records on the list, yet just as outstanding.

The Burgess brothers are South Sydney through and through, and they made Rabbitohs history in Round 25, 2013, against the Wests Tigers when they became the first set of four brothers in over a century to take the field for the same side.

The last time four brothers played for the same club was in 1910 when Roy, Rex, Ray and Bernard Norman played for Annandale. 103 years later it would be George, Luke, Sam and Thomas Burgess playing for South Sydney.

Things didn’t start off well for Souths with Sam Burgess sin binned for a professional foul and the Rabbitohs trailing 18-0. But an early second half try to Sam sparked the boys into life as they came back to defeat the Wests Tigers 32-18 with eldest brother Luke scoring a late try to cap off an historic win.

Eric Simms – The Game Changer

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Can you imagine being so good at a certain skill that they changed the rules of the sport? Well that’s exactly the case for Rabbitohs sharpshooter Eric Simms.

Simms specialised in goal kicking and to a lesser extent field goals. During his tenure in the top grade from 1965 field goals were worth two points and, naturally, teams would kick them more frequently.

It was in a game in Penrith in 1969 where he famously kicked five field goals in 11 minutes, after which the NSWRL decided to drop the worth of field goals down to one point.

In his career Simms set a number of records for the club including most points (1841), most points in a season (265), most goals in a career (890), most goals in a season (131), and most goals in a game (11), and is in fourth place on the all-time games list with 206 matches in the Red and Green.

Nathan Merritt – The Try Scoring Machine

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Rabbitohs winger Nathan Merritt is regarded as one of the best try scorers in the history of the game, and it’s hard to argue with such extraordinary stats and records behind him.

Being the ninth highest try scorer in NRL history, as well as the top try scorer for the Rabbitohs with 154 to his name, Merritt has also scored five tries in one game, equalling the record of most tries in a match for the Rabbitohs, and a week later scored a hat trick, completing a tally of eight tries in two rounds.

Yet, the biggest moment in his career came in the 2006 season, where he topped the try scoring table with 22 tries to his name. The catch? He did it all in a team that came last with just three victories for the season, which is the only time it has occurred, and most likely the only time it will.

Paul Mellor – The Youngest Ever Rabbitoh

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We’ve seen the recent debut of outside back Campbell Graham, who had his first grade start while studying for his HSC, aged 18. The youngest ever Rabbitohs, Paul Mellor, exceeds that by two years.

Mellor made his first grade debut in the 1991 season aged just 16 years and 10 months for the Rabbitohs.

Despite debuting that season, Mellor would have to wait until the next season for his second game, but from then on forged a respectable career at Cronulla, Canterbury and Castleford, before returning to Redfern to finish his career in the 2007, aged 33.

Five Missed Tackles – A Record To Be Proud Of 

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This record doesn’t belong to any individual player, but the whole game-day 17.

The round six match of the 2014 season saw the Rabbitohs take on the Panthers on a cold April night in Penrith.

With the heavens opening up, there wasn’t a whole lot of points on the scoreboard, however the match was highlighted by Nathan Merritt, scoring a record breaking try, which saw him take the lead position on the Rabbitohs’ all time try scorers list.

But it was a record that wasn’t uncovered until after the match that really turned heads. With the Panthers only scoring two points, it was revealed that the Rabbitohs hadn’t missed a tackle until the 62nd minute of the match, and in total only had five missed tackles all match, which was declared a record in the NRL.

The statisticians found that the next best was the Sharks with eight missed tackles the previous season.

Talk about teamwork.

Adam Reynolds – A Couple of Hundred Points To Prove

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How’s this one for a brain buster?

Halfback Adam Reynolds holds the record for the most consecutive matches played while scoring a point, playing 76 matches in a row and scoring points in all of them, from his debut in round one, 2012 up until round 25, 2014.

He would create another record from that, by scoring points in 86 consecutive games that he appeared in, so while he broke the amount of consecutive games played, he continued to score points in the next ten games he appeared in.

On top of that, Reynolds is just three points shy of reaching the 1000 point mark for his NRL career, which would make him just the third Rabbitoh of all time to do so. 

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