Today we look at the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ most important match against a Super League side to date – The 2015 World Club Challenge.
While the first two matches against Super League clubs were trial matches that featured plenty of up and comers, the Rabbitohs’ next matchup would see them travel to the cold English county of Merseyside to determine who would be crowned as world champions in the 2015 World Club Challenge.
In a complete reversal of the games against Leeds and Warrington, the Rabbitohs flew out of the gates against a shellshocked St Helens side, with new recruit Glenn Stewart scoring within minutes after the kick-off.
The onslaught continued as tries to Dylan Walker, Greg Inglis and Joel Reddy saw the Rabbitohs take in a commanding 24-0 lead into halftime. In the second stanza, the points continued to flow through tries to Luke Keary, Chris McQueen, and Reddy once again, who bagged a double.
Despite missing a chunk of the match due to injury, halfback Adam Reynolds was the central figure for the Rabbitohs, setting up three tries, kicking five goals and a field goal, which gave the Rabbitohs the record winning margin of 39-0.
The real reward
Rabbitohs Media and Communications Manager Jeremy Monahan recalls the event as a one of a kind experience for the Club.
“The chance to become the best club team on the planet was enormous, and the Club treated that game like a Grand Final,” said Mr Monahan.
“We went across and funnily enough our CEO Blake Solly was the General Manager of the Super League at the time, so we worked with Blake and his team on a lot of promotional plans,” he said.
“I was actually there the day before the team arrived in Manchester, and the next day I met them at the airport after their 24-hour flight, and I had to take Madge and GI straight to the press conference.
“Everyone knows what GI’s presence is like, but as soon as he walked into that room everything just sort of stopped.
“It was great because it was the start of the World Club Series, and we wanted to be the world’s best team.
“At the game we got to Langtree Park and it was amazing - the singing of the fans, the atmosphere, and the place was a 20,000 crowd. It was just full of song and I thought it was going to be amazing for the boys when they ran out, because they hadn’t really experienced anything like it.
“I was wondering how it was all going to affect the boys, and then after 20 minutes or so we were up 24-0, the singing stopped and you could hear a pin drop. I think that was part of the game plan, to just get on top of that as quickly as possible. We went on to win 39-0 which is still a record for the World Club Challenge.
“Sam Burgess had come to watch the game when he was playing English Rugby at the time. Russell Crowe was there and he brought plenty of guests with him. They were only small sheds but the atmosphere was fantastic, and it was a really great experience to go over there and be a part of that, and when you think about one of the rewards after winning a Grand Final, the World Club Challenge is definitely one of them and it makes you want to do it all over again.
“A lot of other clubs don’t really take it so seriously as it should be taken but when the boys were celebrating it was just as much as they did when they won the competition.”
Important information for Rabbitohs Members
As the International Double Header is not a Rabbitohs home game, members will need to purchase tickets to the game and will not be able to gain access using their membership card.
Rabbitohs Members are able to access a 2-for-1 offer on all tickets, please check your weekly newsletter or call the membership team on 02 8306 9922 for details.
At the game, Rabbitohs Members will be able to access the Members Bar on the North Western Terrace. Please have your Membership card to gain access on the day.
Where: ANZ Stadium
When: Saturday 17 February
Hull FC v St George Illawarra Dragons, 5.45pm kick off
Wigan Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs, 7.45pm kick off