A Look Back At: 2008

The Rabbitohs’ official website, www.rabbitohs.com.au, will be taking a look back at the past decade to see the growth of the Club over the past ten years.

Coming off the back of a successful 2007 season which saw the Rabbitohs qualify for the finals for the first time since 1989, it appeared that South Sydney were back on track to reinstate themselves as premiership contenders in the near future.

Despite the high hopes of the Club’s faithful, the side was unable to emulate their form from the previous season, claiming eight victories along their way to securing 14th position on the ladder in the 2008 season.

The Rabbitohs struggled early in the season, failing to gain their first win until Round 8. Glimpses of promise were shown in periods during the year, but consistency eluded Jason Taylor’s side in the season commemorating rugby leagues centenary in Australia.

Defence proved to be a significant issue for the Rabbitohs, with the side leaking 666 points – 237 points more than the previous season. Slight improvements were made upon the sides attack, with an additional 39 points posted in 2008 compared to 2007.

Although there were a number of on field issues, the 2008 season saw the emergence of halfback, Chris Sandow who made his first-grade debut in Round 13 and had an immediate impact, helping his side to two thrilling golden point victories early in his career.

Sandow proved to be a highlight in the Rabbitohs lacklustre season, as the young playmaker was named the Dally M Rookie of the Year and George Green Medallist for Indigenous Rising Star.

Football:

Ladder position:

 14th

Wins:

8

Draws:

0

Losses:

16

Points for:

453

Points against:

666

Head Coach:

Jason Taylor

Captains:

Roy Asotasi, David Kidwell and John Sutton

Wins over: 

Team

Round

Score

Cowboys

Round 8

28-24

Warriors

Round 13

35-28

Titans

Round 15

24-23

Cowboys

Round 16

29-28

Bulldogs

Round 17

34-30

Eels

Round 18

32-20

Warriors

Round 21

18-16

Sea Eagles

Round 23

40-32

Most games:   

 

Nathan Merritt (24)

Luke Stuart (24)

John Sutton (24)

Roy Asotasi (23)

Fetuli Talanoa (23)

Most points:

 

Isaac Luke (106)

Nathan Merritt (58)

Chris Sandow (49)

Beau Champion (32)

Most tries:

 

Nathan Merritt (13)

Beau Champion (8)

Luke Capewell (7)

Most goals:

 

Isaac Luke (41)

Chris Sandow (19)

Nathan Merritt (3)

Most average tackles:

 

Luke Stuart (29.8 per game)

David Fa’alogo (28.2 per game)

Most average metres:

 

Shannon Hegarty (117.8 per game)

Roy Asotasi (114 per game)

Top Try Assists:

 

John Sutton (13)

Chris Sandow (8)

Craig Wing (7)

Award winners:

George Piggins Medal – Luke Stuart

Jack Rayner Players’ Player Award – Luke Stuart & Nathan Merritt

John Sattler Rookie of the Year Award – Chris Sandow

Supporters’ Choice Award – Luke Stuart

Bob McCarthy Clubman of the Year Award – Beau Champion

The Burrow Player of the Year Award – Luke Stuart

News:            

January:

The Rabbitohs take on the Leeds Rhinos at the Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. This marks the first time professional rugby league sides from Australia and England play each other in the United States. A crowd of 12,500 turn out to watch the Rhinos claim a 26-24 victory.

May:

After tasting defeat in the first seven fixtures of the season, the Red and Greens bag their first win of the season with a 28-24 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys at Stadium Australia.

June:

South Sydney equal the second biggest comeback in Premiership history against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 16. Trailing 28-4 with thirty minutes remaining in the match, the Rabbitohs win the match 29-28.  

July:

The Rabbitohs claim their fifth victory on the trot with a 32-20 win over the Parramatta Eels. It would be the last win in their mid-season streak with the side only winning two more matches throughout the remainder of the season.