August 29th 1999: The South Sydney Rabbitohs would play their last NRL game for 929 days. It was a Sunday at Parramatta Stadium and we lost 16-34 to the Eels.
March 15th 2002: The Rabbitohs were resurrected after exclusion from the competition, 80,000 people had marched in the streets, courtroom battles were fought and the Pride of the League were back. It was a Friday at the Sydney Football Stadium and we lost 6-40 to the Roosters.
The Rabbitohs would go on to win five games in Season 2002. It sounds dire, and it’s hard to disagree, but to the first men back for the Rabbitohs – a team created entirely from scratch for our return to the NRL – it is a season that will always be remembered fondly.
They were the men that continued a legacy. A legacy of never backing down, of fighting for what’s right and of supporting each other. 2002 was a year that re-affirmed all that South Sydney stood for and nobody puts it better than legendary Souths forward John Sattler.
“That’s South Sydney spirit,” said Sattler.
“Right through all the trouble, when the club almost went broke and when we were really on our knees, people still had faith that it would get up and live on.”