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Rabbitohs legend and former skipper, Roy Asotasi, knows first-hand about the rivalry between the men in Red and Green and the Roosters, having been introduced to the tradition in his very first game for the Club way back in 2007.
That introduction began on Monday, 19 March 2007 for the former Test Skipper, when a new-look Rabbitohs outfit – boasting the likes of Nigel Vagana, Dean Widders, David Peachey, and many more – took to the Sydney Football Stadium pitch to take on the Sydney Roosters in front of a crowd of just under 25,000 in Round 1.
The match would go the way of the Rabbitohs by 18-6 and would set the Club on the path to their first Finals Series appearance since 1989 later that year – two tries to Vagana, and a try plus three goals to halfback Joe Williams getting the Cardinal and Myrtles home 18-6.
“It was exciting – it was good to get a win too,” said Asotasi speaking to Rabbitohs.com.au this week.
“I just remember all the South Sydney Members were cheering this new era that (the Club) was pretty much coming upon – there was a great rivalry (against the Roosters) when I was there and I’m sure the players now are enjoying the ride now.”
Asotasi would go on to play in many encounters against the Tricolours during his Rabbitohs tenure between 2007 and 2013 – a career that saw him play 133 matches and score 12 tries for the Club.
Like the players, Asotasi is still looking fit and ready to play. As such, the hard-running prop can’t wait for Friday night to come around for the next chapter in the rivalry to be written – even if he will be watching from the sidelines.
“It’s one of those games that players enjoy playing in,” said Asotasi.
“I know the Members definitely enjoy watching it. It’s going to be a fiery battle – there’s plenty of history between both Clubs.
“I’m expecting a very tough, physical game – regardless of where the Roosters are at this stage of the competition.
“For the Club, the more people we can get out there, getting behind the Red and Green will be a driving force for the team to improve and to obviously further themselves in the competition.
“They’re doing a great job and the reason for that is obviously the Member – without the Members, there is no team.”
Regarded by many as one of the first marquee signings of the Rabbitohs’ new era, Asotasi brought a wealth of experience to Redfern as a leader, a seasoned campaigner and a Premiership winner – traits that helped to create an exciting culture at the Rabbitohs built on his own unique brand of go-forward and professionalism.
To watch the full interview with Roy, please press play on the video player.
The Rabbitohs will take on the Sydney Roosters in the deciding Ron Coote Cup clash at ANZ Stadium in Friday Night Football this Friday night! Click here to purchase tickets.
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