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Top Moments: Final 16

From 64 of the most iconic South Sydney Rabbitohs moments we now have our top 16. There's been some tough calls but now thanks to you, we have the most epic moments to countdown... but we're still in search of which moment will be crowned the Suttons Top Moment and the match-ups don't get any easier for you!

Lets' take a look at where we're at with the table below.

GI’s Solo Try against the Broncos in 2014 vs Adam Reynolds’ Match Winner against the Roosters in 2012

Two of the most iconic tries in all of rugby league in the 2000s, Greg Inglis goes up against his former teammate, Adam Reynolds. Both tries were memorable in their own way, let’s start with Inglis.

It’s been deemed by many rugby league experts as the greatest individual try ever scored. Inglis’ decisiveness to attack the ball then swerve, beat and break away from half of the Brisbane team truly is an iconic sight. There’s probably no better mover with ball in hand than GI. 

Top Moments - GI's Solo Try v Broncos

Then there’s Warren Smith’s famous words; “You can take me now, I have seen it all!”

While GI’s try was just sheer rugby league brilliance, this team effort is all about context. Earlier that year the Roosters pipped the Rabbitohs at the death through Anthony Minichiello, so to hit back in the same fashion was truly special.

We also don’t have to mention the rivalry between the Rabbitohs and Roosters that’s as old as the game itself! With only a few minutes left on the clock and two tries the difference, it seemed like an impossible task for South Sydney. The Rabbitohs scored and with the difference only four points in the final minute, they caught the Roosters right edge napping off the kick-off…

Top Moments - Take Me Now, I've Seen it All

John Sutton brings up 300 games (2018) vs Sam Burgess’ Signing (2009)

Again a very tough match up. Both are modern day legends of this Club.

Let’s start with John Sutton’s record-breaking milestone; think about all of the great South Sydney players that have donned the red and green since 1908, John Sutton, a South Sydney junior has played the most games.

No one in the Rabbitohs’ history has reached the 300 Club. John was there through the lowest of the lows and also tasted the sweetest victories - he’s been through it all. A Clubman through-and-through.

Top Moments - John Sutton first Rabbitoh to 300

Then there’s Sam Burgess. Voted the best English import in the modern era, Sam Burgess epitomised what passion and determination on the field is all about. One to sometimes cross the line, you could never question his effort.

A player that everybody just wanted to play with Sam had the capability to get the absolute best out of his teammates.

Think about it, can you imagine the Rabbitohs without Sam Burgess? Just how important was that signing, all those years ago on his 21st birthday?

Top Moments - Sam Burgess Signs with Souths

Club Privatisation (2006) vs Must win run of form (1955)

Arguably one of the biggest days in the Club’s history. In a ceremony on Wednesday, June 6, 2006, at the Sydney Town Hall, chairman Nick Pappas handed over the keys to Peter Holmes à Court.

Then at a function held at the Blue Hotel Woolloomooloo to celebrate the occasion the following night, Peter Holmes à Court gave South Sydney a cheque for $3 million. The Crowe and Holmes à Court era had officially begun.

For a club that previously had problems attracting marquee players, now were able to sign some of the best available talent on the market at the time.

Top Moments - Holmes à Court and Crowe's Privatisation 2006

What Souths achieved in 1955 is among the most famous stories in Australian sporting history. After Round 10 of the 1955 premiership Souths were coming last on the ladder and they had to win every game, 11 in-a-row, to win the premiership. It has been called ‘The Miracle of 1955!

They were the first club to win the premiership from fourth place and The Daily Telegraph journalist George Crawford called the grand final of 1955 “the most memorable occasion of the many years in which I wrote about rugby league football”.

Top Moments - Must-Win Run of Form - 1955

Clive Churchill Debut (1947) vs Sattler’s Broken Jaw (1970)

Clive Churchill was arguably the most inspiring figure in Australian rugby league. A resourceful and courageous fullback, he was Test captain for several years. A ‘legend’ in his own time.

After fulfilling his residential qualification of 28 days he was ready for his first premiership game against Newtown in Round 17, which was played at Erskineville Oval on August 16. 

Newtown won the match 25-20 and Churchill kicked three goals but it was the birth of a rugby league icon!

Top Moments - Churchill Debuts for Souths

If there is one image that is synonymous with South Sydney, then it's that of John Sattler hoisted upon his teammates' shoulders celebrating the 1970 premiership triumph with his broken jaw hanging on by a thread.

Sattler’s jaw was broken in three places after a big hit from Sea Eagles prop John Bucknall in the third minute. Despite his injury and in a moment described as the most celebrated display of heroics in Rugby League history, Sattler refused to leave the field. Suffering from excruciating pain, Sattler managed to make 20 tackles, one offload and touch the ball 29 times while missing only one tackle and making one handling error.

After 77 minutes and numerous suggestions from both his teammates and Coach Clive Churchill to retire to the bench, Sattler showed the strength of his Captaincy and led his side to a memorable 23-12 Grand Final victory. That moment made Sattler part of rugby league folklore as he went on to play virtually the entire game carrying the injury.

Top Moments - Sattler's Broken Jaw

Te’o’s Prelim Performance (2014) vs George Burgess Grand Final Performance (2014)

The 2014 Preliminary final winner went to the grand final. The loser went home.

Coming off the bench, Ben Te’o single-handedly changed the game for Souths after two early tries took the Roosters to a 12-nil lead within the first 10 minutes.

He played as if it was his last game, and in actual fact - it very well could have been.

Colossal - that’s the only way to describe Te’o’s performance and without this effort; the heroics of Sam Burgess’ Grand Final performance might not have happened.

Top Moments - Te'o vs Roosters

George Burgess. At the time, the best front-rower in the world. They say Grand Finals are won by special performances. By moments.

With the game in the balance, this charge from Burgess was what opened the floodgates. Rugby League is a game built on moments. It could be argued that it was this moment that won South Sydney the Premiership.

With the scores locked at six-all, the Bulldogs were fighting back and the Rabbitohs needed a man to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

In a devastating run Burgess beat one defender, bumped off another 120kg beast in Tony Williams, and then scored beneath the posts.

Top Moments - George Burgess' 2014 Grand Final Performance

Signing Greg Inglis (2010) vs Sam Burgess’ Fractured Cheekbone (2014)

There’s no greater rugby league specimen, no more freakish talent than the man known as GI - 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.

Top Moments - Inglis Signs with Souths

A performance that requires little description...

What defined the whole game was the first run off the kick-off. That’s what made the night even more special.

An absolute warrior, much like John Sattler before him, Burgess put the team on his back despite his fractured cheekbone.

A deserved Clive Churchill Medal winner, it’s a performance that goes down in Rabbitohs folklore.

Top Moments - Sam Burgess' 2014 Grand Final Performance

Greg Inglis finished off an iconic team try (2014) vs Clive Churchill’s famous goal at Redfern (1955)

Round 23, 2014.

The Broncos had nightmares of Greg Inglis after the brilliant individual try he produced earlier in the year.

From a personal effort to a team try, Inglis still displayed his freakish abilities touching the ball twice in the one movement, while Sam Burgess and Adam Reynolds played key roles in the try.

This momentum carried them right through to the finals and into the Big Dance.

Top Moments - GI Tops off Team Try

The Rabbitohs took on heavyweights Manly in Round 17 at Redfern Oval. Churchill broke his left wrist in the first tackle he made in the match and then played under intense pain for the next 75 minutes. Several minutes later he brought down the burly Manly winger George Hugo and clearly was showing pain.

Two minutes from the end of play South Sydney half-back Col Donohoe lost the ball over the line after crossing near the posts.

The conversion was taken 3 inches from the sideline, and as Churchill steadied himself for the kick, he adjusted the splint on his broken wrist and approached the ball faultlessly to give the Rabbitohs a 9-7 win.

Top Moments - Churchill's Famous Goal of 1955

Four Burgess Brothers lace up together (2013) vs Rallies for re-instatement (2001)

Round 25, 2013 - a home game against the Wests Tigers.

Only twice in the history of the game has there been four brothers lace up in first grade, side-by-side, for the same team.

The most recent and iconic being the Rabbitohs’ favourite sons from Yorkshire, the Burgess brothers.

The Burgess brothers would go on to create a legacy for the Club, led by brother Sam, who a year later would be dubbed the Clive Churchill medallist and later inducted as a Life Member.

  • Luke Burgess - 51 Games for South Sydney
  • Thomas Burgess - 141 Games for South Sydney
  • George Burgess - 149 Games for Souths Sydney
  • Sam Burgess - 182 Games for South Sydney.

Top Moments - Four Burgess Brothers in the same line-up

On Friday, 15 October 1999, the NRL did the unthinkable and committed a most public and shameful crime in Australian sport when they cut this grand old club from the elite competition for failing to make the 14-team cut-off under the NRL criteria (along with North Sydney Bears who were bankrupt). The news of their dismissal came as a sledgehammer blow to the hundreds of supporters who gathered at the South Sydney Leagues Club to hear the verdict. Grown men and women openly cried and threatened never to watch another game of rugby league. For life-long and proud supporters, it was unbelievable to think that a club that had produced such champions as Clive Churchill, Jack Rayner, Ron Coote, Bob McCarthy, John Sattler, Len ‘Chicka’ Cowie, Bernie Purcell, John O’Neill and Eric Simms would no longer play in the elite competition.

 South Sydney challenged the decision in the Federal Court claiming that the NRL agreement was exclusionary, intended to unfairly exclude South Sydney, and breached the Trade Practices Act. In days leading up to the judgement, Phil Gould spoke to the media on many occasions about Souths, with comments like: “Blind Freddie can see that Souths have got to be put back in.”

But incredibly, Justice Finn ruled on Friday, 3 November 2000, that the agreement did not specifically exclude any club and dismissed the Rabbitohs' claims for re-instatement into the national competition.

Souths appealed the decision and continued raising much-needed funds with their exhibition matches, functions and other events to support ‘The Fightback’.

Another similar march was organised for Sunday, 12 November 2000, which proved to be much bigger than the one in 1999 with over 80,000 supporters there protesting against the NRL. This time even ‘The Daily Telegraph’ gave a realistic estimate of the crowd, and the story appeared on their front page. There were many guest speakers present like Alan Jones, the late Frank Hyde, Andrew Denton and rugby league legends, as well as letters were read out from the Prime Minister John Howard and opposition leader Kim Beasley.

Top Moments - Rabbitohs Rally for Reinstatement

The moment of truth came on Friday, 6 July 2001 at 10am (which is now probably Souths’ second most important date, after our birthday in 1908), when three judges Moore, Merkel and Heerey announced their decision. The first one, Justice Heerey, said: “I would dismiss the appeal. I am authorised by Justice Moore to say that he would allow the appeal.” Then the big moment – the third judge, Justice Merkel, said: “I would also allow the appeal.”

Around midday on the same day, Souths put out the following media release:

The South Sydney Club is extremely gratified and greatly relieved by today’s judgement by the Full Bench of the Federal Court. This decision vindicates the Souths Board’s stance over the past couple of years that our club was wrongfully excluded from the NRL competition. Now that this decision has been made, we at Souths, on behalf of the many hundreds of thousands of Australians call on the NRL to re-instate this proud club immediately.

Then at around 2.30pm on the same day in the auditorium of the South Sydney League Club, Nick Pappas read out the following statement from News Limited:

News Limited CEO Nr John Hartigan, said today the company accepted the court’s decision and hoped the NRL and South Sydney would begin immediate discussions regarding the club’s participation in the 2002 competition.

Six days later NRL officials David Moffett, John Brady and David Gallop met with the Board of the South Sydney Leagues Club, and after a one hour meeting held a press conference where Mr Moffett said the meeting went very well and that Souths would be participating in the 2002 NRL competition. He also said they would be given the same $2.5 million grant and benefits afforded to the other NRL clubs.

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Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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