If it feels like a lot has happened so far in 2024, that might be because we’re not even three months in, and we’re mere days away from adding another chapter to the oldest, most-fiercely contested rivalry in Rugby League – the South Sydney Rabbitohs vs the Sydney Roosters.

Despite both sides missing a host of NRL experience, it won’t quell the spirits of those who do take the field this Friday evening at Belmore Sports Ground. For every battle between the cardinal and myrtle of South Sydney and the tri-colours of the Eastern Suburbs is one to be taken on with all the vigour and passion deserving of such an occasion.


There have been many momentous clashes between these two giants of the NRL in recent times. A match in week one of the 2022 Finals Series – infamously dubbed ‘Sin-Bin Sunday’ in commentary – certainly comes to mind rather quickly.

On this fateful September Sunday afternoon at the then brand-new Allianz Stadium, the Rabbitohs – having lost to the Roosters in a heated clash the previous week in the final round of the regular season – would triumph over their arch-foes from Bondi Junction 30 points to 14 in what was an Elimination Final for the ages – and not at all bereft of controversy.

In this game, an unbelievable SEVEN players were sent from the field for 10-minute breathers. At one point, Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell even managed to score a try when Souths only had 11 players on the field up against a full complement of Roosters!

Match Highlights - Roosters v Rabbitohs Finals Week 1

There have been several other highly satisfying wins in the last several seasons – due in no small part to the large margin of victory – with South Sydney inflicting two particularly nasty defeats on the Roosters, 60-8 and 54-12 in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

But as we turn our attention from the glories of the past to the glories of the future, it is clear there is plenty to play for in this Friday’s match.

Take Braidon Burns for example, who made a successful return to the Rabbitohs in last week’s Charity Shield defence against the Dragons.

Burns, who scored two crucial tries on the right wing in last week’s win, will shift in-field to the less-familiar fullback position. A talented runner of the ball as both a centre and a winger, he will relish the chance to get his hands on the ball more – and in different situations – and impress upon coach Jason Demetriou his value to this squad.

All in all, this should be a very exciting clash, with both teams always happy to get one up on the other, no matter the context.

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