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Since making his NRL debut in round eight of 2017, Rabbitohs skipper Cameron Murray has earned himself a reputation as being one of the game’s great leaders.

An inspiration to his teammates, revered by opposition players, an absolute mainstay of the representative scene for both NSW and Australia; at just 26 years of age, Cameron Murray has already had a brilliant career.

But now, this Friday night, Murray will run out for his 150th NRL appearance against no less than the Rabbitohs’ arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters. With this major milestone for their captain, Souths will certainly not be taking a backwards step ahead of the next chapter in Rugby League’s greatest rivalry – the Ron Coote Cup. This should be one hell of a contest!


Also celebrating a milestone in this game is rugged winger Taane Milne who will play in the NRL team for the Rabbitohs for the 50th time on Friday night.

However, while we all look longingly towards this next encounter on Friday night, it is important to remember the chapters of the past, and why they make this contest as great as it is.

From their earliest clash in May 1908, to their latest in September of last year, South Sydney vs Roosters, has always been more than just a game of football, as evidenced by the ferocity of the players who line up for both teams.

Members and fans of both clubs are always keen to argue about things like who truly owns the area between Coogee and La Perouse, although that was put to bed many years ago when a poll run by Randwick City Council found that over 96% of respondents said the area belonged to the Rabbitohs!

It is also the fact that both clubs have spent the best part of the last decade at or near the top of the ladder, which has made this match-up so special in recent times. In this period of success for both clubs, Souths have certainly had the wood over the Roosters, winning seven out of their last 11 matches from 2019-2023, and retaining the Ron Coote Cup four out of five times.

Included in this run are two monstrous victories over the Roosters – 60-8 and 54-12 in 2020 and 2021 respectively – in which try-scoring specialist Alex Johnston bagged a combined eight tries! Having scored roughly 10% of his 188 career tries against the Roosters, Johnston will no doubt be hungry to add more to his tally on Friday night.


With plenty to play for in this contest, Souths will be buoyed by the inclusion of star signing Jack Wighton, who makes his club debut at left centre in this match.

A former Dally M and Clive Churchill Medallist, Wighton will be looking for a fast start to his South Sydney career by imposing himself on the left edge in both attack and defence.

The inclusion at halfback of local junior Dean Hawkins for his first start of the season will also excite Souths fans. As the reigning NSW Cup Player of the Year, Hawkins has both the skill and creativity to really spark the Rabbitohs’ attack, which will hopefully lead to plenty of points for the Cardinal and Myrtle this Friday night.

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