We're half way through stage two of Suttons Top Moments and the Rabbitohs expert panel are back to break down the second half of the match-ups! Winners move onto the quarter finals, let's get stuck in!
RABBITOHS TOP MOMENTS PANEL
|Jeremy Monahan||Rabbitohs Media and Communications Manager|
|Damien Batty||Rabbitohs Burrow Member no #676280|
|Michael Curin & Brad Ryder||Rabbitohs Historians|
|Lars Roy||Rabbitohs Digital Content Producer|
Roy Asotasi's signing (2006) vs Ben Te'o's Prelim Performance (2014)
Jeremy's Pick: Roy Asotasi's Signing
I love Ben Te’o, as a player and as a bloke. Without his performance in the 2014 Preliminary Final then I, and we as a collective, don’t get to celebrate the 2014 Premiership. However, without the signing of Roy Asotasi, the man regarded at the time as the best front rower on the planet, having faith in a Club that was more renowned for losing at that stage, to come to us from the Bulldogs, then there is no Ben Te’o performance in 2014.
There is no Greg Inglis, or Sam Burgess, or Nigel Vagana, or David Kidwell, or Dean Widders. Roy started the on-field revolution, just as Russell Crowe, Peter Holmes à Court, Nicholas Pappas and Shane Richardson started it off field. Roy’s signing was a key moment in modern-day achievements.
Top Moments - Rabbitohs Sign Roy Asotasi
Lars' Pick: Ben Teo's Prelim Performance
Such a tough choice! I can't discredit what the signing of Roy Asotasi did in terms of making the Club attractive for other marquee players to also come to Redfern. He brought leadership, work ethic and a will to win - Something we lacked terribly since re-instatement.
But my choice goes with Ben Te'o. I haven't seen a player single-handedly tear a team apart like that, coming off the bench. The closest performance I can think of would be Andrew Johns' return to Origin in 2005. Having been in the 20s system that year, I got to see firsthand the influence Ben Te'o had on the playing group. He's someone you'd just have to follow into battle. If he doesn't play, we don't make it to the Big Dance of '14.
Top Moments - Te'o vs Roosters
Eric Simms Record Career Field Goals (1975) vs George Burgess Grand Final and run of form (2014)
Michael's pick: Eric Simms Record Career Field Goals
The most famous exponent of kicking field goals was our own 'Ecka' Simms. It was his extraordinary ability to put them over with ease that resulted in the NSWRL reducing the field goal's value to only one point in 1971, and as a result his record may never be beaten.
Top Moments - Eric Simms Record Career Field Goals
Damien's pick: George Burgess Grand Final and run of form
George turned the tide in the second half of the 2014 grand final, busting through the line to score a brilliant solo try to crack open the game.
Who would ever forget that moment? Inspired by his brother? - Perhaps, but it lifted everyone and you could feel the gears shift in our favour. Arguably this effort laid the foundations for the rest of the match and the heralding of our 21st premiership.
Top Moments - George Burgess' 2014 Grand Final Performance
Damien Cook's Solo Try against the Storm (2018) vs Greg Inglis' Signing (2010)
Jeremy's pick: The Signing of GI
I chose the signing of GI because it was as important to us as Roy Asotasi’s decision to sign with us in 2005. Greg was on his way out of Melbourne and on his way to Brisbane. He was training up there, rehabbing an injury up there, his best mate Justin Hodges played there and it seemed a fait accompli that Greg would become a Bronco.
I was fortunate enough to be there when Shane Richardson was doing the final negotiations for Greg to join us with player managers and the NRL hierarchy. I learnt so much that day and night, Christmas Eve, and didn’t that hard negotiating pay dividends. I’m very proud to call Greg one of my good mates these days. He’s as good a bloke off the field as he was a superstar player on it.
Top Moments - Cook Burns the Storm
Damien's pick: The Signing of GI
With some quality players signing on early in the decade, you could argue GI was one of the best (if not the best) to sign on with us. He started something very special.
Not only did GI play 147 games in the cardinal and myrtle, he captained our side and was instrumental in Souths' resurgence through the decade. Now a deserved life member and loved Rabbitohs legend.
Top Moments - Inglis Signs with Souths
1929 Golden Era (5 straight Premierships) vs Sam Burgess' Grand Final Heroics (2014)
Brad's Pick: Sam Burgess' Grand Final Heroics
Canterbury kicked off deep and on the very first tackle Sam carted the ball up to his fellow Englishman, James Graham. Their heads collided resulting in Sam's cheekbone under his right eye being smashed.
He knew he was seriously hurt and a couple of minutes later the TV cameras showed his mother Julie in the crowd, as she looked on in horror. Sam was told at half-time he could risk losing his eye if he went back on, but he ignored this and played out the whole game.
It is being compared to the 1970 grand final of John Sattler's heroics and definitely takes my pick.
Top Moments - Sam Burgess' 2014 Grand Final Performance
Jeremy's Pick: Sam Burgess' Grand Final Heroics
This was a terribly difficult decision. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to win five-straight premierships, knowing how hard it was to win one! I mentioned earlier that the only comparable feat I’ve seen to John Sattler’s broken jaw was Sam Burgess’ shattered face.
I was lucky enough to be on field at the end of the game, giving Sam a hug after winning our 21st Premiership, telling him he’s the toughest man I know and I’ll never be able to thank him enough for it. While he was in hospital the next week he sent me a picture of the x-ray on his face. It was indescribable. It's something that will live in my memory forever.
Top Moments - The Club's First Golden Era
GI's team try against the Broncos (2014) vs Jack Rayner, the Captain-Coach (1950)
Michael's Pick: Jack Rayner, the Captain-Coach
To me, Rayner has always been overlooked and underestimated, probably because we had the 'Little Master' in our side. But, it was Rayner's guidance and captaincy that paved the way for so many premierships before the great St. George side dominated.
He started playing league rather late and became our oldest captain and first grader, and I think he should have been in our Dream Team (as a player).
Top Moments - GI Tops off Team Try
Jeremy's Pick: Jack Rayner, the Captain-Coach
Jack Rayner is one of the greatest gentlemen I have had the honour of spending time with over the past 18 years at South Sydney. His wife Lola and Jack were beautiful people, always had time for everyone, and were South Sydney through-and-through.
From all reports, Jack was a fearless leader with a ferocity to protect and play-for his team mates and his Club. He played in one of the most brutal eras of the game and not only was he leading as a captain, but also as coach of the side. I don’t envision that we will ever see captain-coaches in the game again, so Rupert John Rayner gets my vote.
Top Moments - Jack Rayner Captain Coach
Eight selected in the Kangaroos (1970) vs Clive Churchills famous goal at Redfern Oval (1955)
Jeremy's pick: Clive Churchill's famous goal at Redfern
We spoke earlier about the feats of the 1955 Rabbitohs team, but if we’re looking for a single moment to epitomize the fighting spirit of the ’55 Rabbitohs, it has to this kick from The Little Master, Clive Churchill.
With the cover of an exercise book taped to his broken limb to hold it (relatively) in place, he remained calm enough and concentrated through the pain to slot the goal from the sideline to keep our season alive. What I would give to have been there to see the efforts of the ’55 Rabbitohs, including this incredible goal from Clive.
Top Moments - Eight Rabbitohs Crack Kangaroos Squads
Michael's pick: Clive Churchills famous goal at Redfern Oval
The ‘Little Master’ performed magnificent deeds on many occasions for his club and country between 1947-58, but his gallantry rose to a new level when he played with a broken wrist and then kicked the winning goal against Manly in 1955. His goal is undoubtedly one of the epics of League.
Top Moments - Churchill's Famous Goal of 1955
Four Burgess Brothers lace up together (2013) vs Robert 'Rocky' Laurie; the first Dally M Medalist (1980)
Jeremy's pick: Four Burgess Brothers lace up together
It felt like it had been coming for a few weeks. Our digital team and I were ready for the ‘Burgii’ to all play together, the first time four brothers had taken the field together since 1910. But each week Michael Maguire would only pick three of them. Then that fateful week, he named all four in his 17 for the match against the Tigers.
All that had to happen now was to have all four on the field together, which would be quite a feat considering three of them were front rowers with Sam able to slot in anywhere in the pack besides hooker (and who says he couldn’t have done that too!). They all got on in the final minutes, all piled into tackle-after-tackle and then played out the ‘Burgess set’ where they all took turns in carting the ball forward in one set of six. Record setters and record breakers, those Burgess boys.
Top Moments - Four Burgess Brothers in the same line-up
Lars' pick: Robert 'Rocky' Laurie; the first Dally M Medalist
I'm going to go for 'Rocky' Laurie in this instance. Souths were at the bottom-end of the ladder in 1980, then they eventually made the semi final.
That's right, Souths ignited a nine-game winning streak off the back of Robert 'Rocky' Laurie's outstanding performances. Pretty incredible comeback when you think about it! He is the only Rabbitoh to win the Dally M Medal.
Top Moments - Rocky Laurie Becomes the First Dally M Winner
Rabbitohs Rallies for Club-Reinstatement (2001) vs World Club Champions (2015)
Michael's pick: Rabbitohs Rallies for Club-Reinstatement
I will never forget the two rallies and how I proudly marched with my son William in protest over our axing. Then to hear the sensational news on 6 July 2001 that the Full Bench of the Federal Court upheld our appeal, ruling that our exclusion from the competition was in fact a breach of the Trade Practises Act.
In our 112 years of rugby league history we have proven time and time again that our ‘never say die’ attitude on and off the field has served us well and our resilience is reflected in the fact that we are the only rugby league club to be kicked out from the competition and subsequently readmitted.
Top Moments - Rabbitohs Rally for Reinstatement
Damien's pick: Rabbitohs Rallies for Club-Reinstatement
It was a huge injustice to expel the pride of the league from the competition. Despite the bitter disappointment, in true South Sydney style, we wouldn’t say die with turnouts of over 25,000 to the rallies. The hard-fought victory to reinstate us is testament to the resilience, passion and heart of our Rabbitohs Army and the efforts of George Piggins and the group 14.
Top Moments - 2015 World Club Champions