"Henry!" A bit of biff didn't go astray in our 1984 semi-final against Manly as the brawl swung the momentum in Souths' way. That goes up against arguably the greatest signing in Souths history. GI would go on to play a pivotal role in sealing our 21st Premiership. Which moment will move on? Only you can decide!
Iconic All-In Brawl, Souths vs Manly (1984) “HENRY!"
Top Moments - Rampling Calls Henry
The Greatest Game of All has gone through many changes since 1908, from unlimited tackle rule and defenders not needing to get back a certain distance when play the ball occurred. With no replacements to one, then two, and now four Interchange players, as well as increasing the try to four points and reducing the field goal to one point, are some of the many rule changes that the game has gone through.
Even though the style of the game has evolved over the years, the increased professionalism of the players and influx of money from TV has forced the administrators to clean up the game and pay more attention to player safety as our society evolves. Many of the fans that complain about the modern game losing some of its inherent toughness tend to look back to the 1980s era, when the definition of toughness was redefined.
Souths missed out on the finals in 1981-82 and their dire financial situation has been well documented over the years. They didn’t have the money to buy any classy internationals, and in some cases they couldn’t even hold onto their existing players. But, when Ron Willey was hired as their head coach in 1983 he knew that they had to come up with different ways of upsetting their opponents. He was an old-style coach and didn’t mind putting on the biff, especially when it was done at the right time of the game and in the right place of the field.
He saw that his forward Dean Rampling had the knack of knowing when the biff can take place and this unique tactic developed from there. Dean decided to call ‘Henry’ out loud before the stink started to alert his players when it was on. He named it after their trainer Lionel ‘Henry’ Potter - who was the loveliest bloke in the world, the quiet, unassuming type that would never back down no matter what the odds were against him. Lionel also taught some of the younger players in the team how to box in the ring, which also came in handy during their games.
Dean always called the stink when the opposition were least expecting it and making sure it was done around middle of the field, just in case they got penalised and to prevent their opponents kicking a goal from there. He also advised that once he called ‘Henry’ every player on his team had to pick out an opponent to fight at the same time so that the referee and touch judges could not see where it all started. The dreaded call would often change the momentum of the game in their favour.
One match stands out where this tactic was used with great success and that was the 1984 semi-final against Manly at the SCG. Souths finished fifth on 30 points in the regular season and were thrown a mid-week play-off with Canberra to decide who would advance to the semis. The Rabbitohs easily defeated the Raiders by 23-4 on Tuesday night and then faced Manly on Saturday.
The Sea Eagles were playing all over Souths and after scoring two converted tries and a penalty goal, they were comfortably leading 14-0. The turning point came from a scuffle that served to put Manly off their game and when half-time was called the scores were locked at 14-all. Souths’ tough tactics worked so well from there and they went on to win by 22-18. The late John ‘Lurch’ O’Neill, one of Souths’ toughest players, later noted that this was the best comeback match he had ever seen in his life.
Dean and his brother Tony Rampling were known as ‘The Bruise Brothers’ and they enjoyed a reputation at the Rabbitohs which was built on a steady diet of equal parts toughness and madness. Their Rabbitoh roots go all the way to 1908 when their great grand-mother, Florence Ryan, barracked for the first ever team and her husband Bill was a Rabbitoh off the field (selling rabbits for a living and from where our nickname comes from). Her proudest moment was when she watched the two brothers play together for the first time in 1981 against Cronulla at Redfern Oval on June 14. But sadly, she passed away later that year.
Dean retired from football at age 26 because he got a good job with the NSW Fisheries, which involved going to sea on patrol boats, and he had to make a choice between football or work. Football players in those days didn’t have the salaries of modern-day players so his decision was obvious. Six years later they moved him to Tumut, where he still lives.
Greg Inglis Signs with the Rabbitohs (2010)
Top Moments - Inglis Signs with Souths
There’s no greater rugby league specimen, no more freakish talent than the man known as G.I - Greg Inglis.
When Inglis signed with South Sydney in 2010, he brought with him a winning culture and desire for success.
Conversations constantly surround him as one of the best players to ever play the game. He’s captained his state and club and above all else, he played an integral role in delivering South Sydney their 21st Premiership.
Greg is a person that fills a room with his presence; you stop and listen when G.I has something to say. He is just as valuable as a mentor as he was as a player. A South Sydney life member, Inglis goes down as one of the best signings in the Rabbitohs’ history.
Greg, Rabbitohs first grade player number 1077, played 263 NRL games over 15 seasons, including 146 games for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and 117 for the Melbourne Storm. He played in five NRL Grand Finals, winning three including the Rabbitohs’ drought-breaking 21st premiership in 2014, and was crowned the Clive Churchill Medalist in 2007 as a five-eighth. He is also regarded as one of the best players ever to have played in the centres and at fullback.
Greg played 39 Tests for Australia and 32 State of Origin games for Queensland, is currently State of Origin’s leading try scorer of all time, and won the Golden Boot award as the world’s best player in 2009. He is a five-time Dally M award-winning player across a number of positions, a two-time George Piggins Medalist as the Rabbitohs’ best and fairest player in a particular season, and was an inductee in the Indigenous Team of the Century when it was announced in 2008. He is already being discussed in Rugby League circles as a future Hall of Famer and Immortal of the game.
Inglis is regarded as a leader both on and off the field, captaining the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Indigenous All Stars, Queensland State of Origin, and the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII sides. Greg is also regarded as a leader amongst the Indigenous community right across Australia and dedicates a lot of his time to helping Indigenous charities and communities around the country.