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Ron Coote anticipates epic Friday night blockbuster

The South Sydney Rabbitohs Round 22 clash against the Sydney Roosters is the second leg of the 2018 Ron Coote Cup. 

Playing for more than just the two points on Friday night the Red and Green will be looking to take the trophy home after securing a 26-14 win at Allianz Stadium in Round 6. 

The emphatic away win puts the Cardinal and Myrtle in pole position to bring home the cup after losing it in 2017.


'The Prince of Locks'" preview

The man himself Ron Coote is particularly excited for this week's match and is anticipating one of the best clashes in recent history.

Having won six premierships with both Clubs, Coote knows a thing or two about the historic rivalry between the South and the East of Sydney and is expecting this clash to be no different to ones that have come before it.

"Well it's a top of the competition battle," said Coote.

"It's going to be a cracker, Souths are going really well, they got a win against the Storm last week, which I thought was really good."

For the first time since 2015, the Rabbitohs and Roosters will face off whilst both being inside the top four, however for Coote, regardless of their position on the ladder, the clash always grabs people's attention.

Ron Coote

"I think it will be another great game, even though these two are running well in the competition over the years no matter where they are on the ladder it's always a really tough game because of the rivalry,"

Having played for both clubs, 'The Prince of Locks' says he can't choose a favourite and just wants to see a great game between two sides packed full of talent.

"I like to see a good game and I like to see the best team win on the day," said Coote.

"They've both got sensational players and I love watching and seeing how good they go.

"Both teams have been excellent this season, you look at 'Cookie' (Damien Cook) on top of his game for Souths right now and then for the Roosters you have Latrell Mitchell who has been great this year."

Whilst Coote can't pick a winner he has a good idea of where the game will be won and lost.

"I think the Burgess brothers will again be the key for the Rabbitohs and the Roosters backs have been great this year so that will be where they can win the match."


Memorable matches

The Ron Coote Cup has only been in existence since the beginning of 2007, but its introduction has lifted the rivalry between the two oldest Rugby League Clubs to the next level. 




The first two cups went to the Sydney Roosters in 2007 and 2008 but in 2009 the Rabbitohs new era really started to make waves, and they emphatically dealt with their fiercest rivals in the opening Ron Coote Cup match. 

Not once taking their foot off the gas the Red and Green romped to a 52-12 victory, which included a hat-trick from try-scoring phenomenon Nathan Merritt.

The Rabbitohs would then go on to pile on another monster score in the second leg later in the year, defeating the tricolours 40-20 to notch up what is still the biggest Ron Coote Cup win since it's birth. 



Although Souths didn't attain the Ron Coote Cup in 2011, they won arguably the best match of the two encounters, with a 21-20 golden point win. 

Trading tries back-to-back the two foes couldn't be separated by the allotted 80 minutes as two Rabbitohs legends John Sutton and Greg Inglis combined to send the match into extra time. 

Both sides had cracks at the infamous one point and fortunately for Souths it was halfback Chris Sandow who struck first with a field goal strike from halfway to seal the two points for his side. 




In 2016 the Rabbitohs locked up the Ron Coote Cup in the first leg with a triumphant 42-10 win on Roosters soil. 

It was a memorable occasion for the Red and Green, as eight different players crossed the white stripe to give the Rabbitohs an unassailable advantage. 

They went down in the second leg 17-10 but the damage had already been done as Souths reclaimed the Ron Coote Cup.  



Still fresh in the minds of all those who bleed Red and Green, the Rabbitohs powered past the Roosters in Round 6 with a strong second-half display. 

A monstrous display from the forward pack followed by tries from Angus Crichton, captain Greg Inglis and Club veteran John Sutton put the Roosters to the sword, as the Rabbitohs put a message out to the rest of the competition. 

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