The Rabbitohs In Round One
Round one and the Rabbitohs have had a pretty good relationship over the last few years - Your men in the Cardinal & Myrtle have won the past four round one clashes.
With the 2017 NRL Season just around the corner, we take a look back at these performances and have a look at our next round one clash with the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium.
The 2013 season would see the South Sydney Rabbitohs square off against their cross town rivals to launch the NRL Telstra Premiership. It would be the Rabbitohs that would claim bragging rights and the first premiership points on offer. Although an emphatic victory was secured by the Red and Greens on the night, the Roosters would eventually be crowned premiers as they went on to beat the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 26-18 in the Grand Final.
Coming into the clash, the Roosters were seen as firm favourites with James Maloney, Michael Jennings and Sonny Bill Williams all making their club debut in the fixture. Maloney and Williams would be the only players to register points for their side as Nathan Merritt added to his prolific try scoring record with three tries, whilst Chris McQueen and George Burgess cemented the result with one try apiece.
Rabbitohs 28 (Nathan Merritt 3, Chris McQueen, George Burgess tries; Adam Reynolds 4 goals)
Roosters 10 (James Maloney, Sonny Bill Williams tries; James Maloney 1 goal)
Once again, the two foundation clubs would be given the task of kick-starting the new season in 2014. As was the case in the previous year, South Sydney would claim a convincing win to open their account.
The Rabbitohs would once again be the underdogs, as many had tipped the Roosters to back up their premiership success from 2013. Early signs in the match were positive for the Roosters as Michael Jennings scored against the run of play, but a dominant second stanza in the match would see South Sydney claim a comfortable victory pioneered by a Greg Inglis hat trick.
The Rabbitohs would maintain their form throughout the season, eventually breaking their 43 year premiership drought with a 30-6 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Rabbitohs 28 (Greg Inglis 3, Bryson Goodwin tries; Adam Reynolds 6 goals)
Roosters 8 (Michael Jennings 1 try; James Maloney 2 goals)
After backing up their 2014 premiership with wins at the Auckland Nines and World Club Challenge, high hopes were held for the Rabbitohs as the 2015 season commenced.
In what is traditionally one of the toughest fixtures in the NRL, the Red and Greens ventured north to Suncorp Stadium to take on the Brisbane Broncos. Living up to the hype, South Sydney cruised to victory, downing the home side by 30 points.
The Rabbitohs backline shone with the majority of points coming from perfectly executed shifts out wide. Adam Reynolds was precise with the boot, kicking eight goals and ensuring that the result was never in doubt.
Rabbitohs 36 (Greg Inglis, Alex Johnson, Dylan Walker, Joel Reddy, Luke Keary, John Sutton tries; Adam Reynolds 8 goals)
Broncos 6 (Matt Gillett 1 try; Corey Parker 1 goal)
After failing to live up to the expectations that were placed upon them in the previous season, the Rabbitohs would come into the opening game of the season with something to prove against a Roosters side lacking a number of elder statesmen.
From the onset, the tricolours looked out of sorts as South Sydney made the most of their opponent’s lapses in defence. Points flowed from start to finish, as the Red and Greens were comprehensive across the park in both attack and defence.
The Rabbitohs appeared to be a force to be reckoned with in the early stages of the season, however they were plagued by injuries and inconsistency and could not rekindle their form until the concluding rounds of the season.
Rabbitohs 42 (Cameron McInnes, Aaron Gray, Paul Carter, Alex Johnston, Greg Inglis, Kyle Turner, Bryson Goodwin, Hymel Hunt tries; Adam Reynolds 4, Bryson Goodwin 1 goals)
Roosters 10 (Joe Burgess 2 tries; Latrell Mitchell 1 goal)
Rabbitohs vs Tigers - Friday 3 March - ANZ Stadium
The opening round of the 2017 NRL season will see the Rabbitohs take on the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on March 3rd. Both sides will be looking to get back to their best after coming off the back of lacklustre seasons and will undoubtedly be looking to claim the two competition points on offer.
With Robbie Farah coming to South Sydney in the off season, the match could see the NSW rake play his first premiership game in the Red and Green against his former club. If selected, Farah will be looking to test out his new combinations and make an impact in his new colours.
In addition to the inclusion of the former Tiger, a host of new faces could take the field for Michael Maguire’s side. A fruitful recruitment drive and strong preseason period has seen competition for spots intensify, meaning that the make-up of the round one side is far from certain.