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The Easter long weekend is certainly a special time of year. As a typically hot Australian summer comes to an end, the leaves start to go brown, the days begin to grow shorter, and we generally find ourselves fully entrenched into the return of weekly NRL football into our lives.

Enter the traditional Good Friday clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Another week, with another piece of silverware on the line as the two sides go face off for the Mortimer-McCarthy Cup. What a perfect way to start your Easter long weekend!

This annual Good Friday clash has been providing members and fans of both clubs with WOW moments, tight finishes, and cherished memories since 2012. In the early years, the Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs put on many close contests. They even traded back-to-back one-point victories in 2014 (Bulldogs) and 2015 (Rabbitohs). In the former, it was a 78th minute field goal that saw the Bulldogs sneak home 15-14 for their first ever Good Friday win over Rabbitohs. In the latter, a penalty goal after the siren saw the Rabbitohs return the favour with a 18-17 victory. Both contests were see-sawing affairs, with plenty of lead changes and momentum swings for each side, and fans on the edge of their seats throughout.

In more recent times however, it has been the South Sydney side that has asserted its dominance in this clash, winning five out of the last five matches since 2018 (2020 was not played due to COVID). The last three matches in particular have been quite flattering to the Rabbitohs, who have scored over 30 points in all three outings.


In 2021, the Rabbitohs put 38 unanswered points on the Bulldogs, with Cody Walker leading the charge and scoring two tries. 2022 was a closer contest, although Rabbitohs still came out resoundingly 36-16 thanks to a Damien Cook hat-trick and an Alex Johnston double.

Then, in 2023, Rabbitohs ran absolute riot over the Bulldogs. Hat tricks to both Campbell Graham and Latrell Mitchell – who also bagged two try-assists – lead to a final score of 50-16 in Rabbitohs’ favour, in front of 35,211 fans at Accor Stadium. It was a convincing performance by the Rabbitohs, who simply could not be stopped on that day. They will no doubt be looking to replicate the effort from 2023 in this year’s match.

There will be plenty to play for in this one, with the Rabbitohs naming a strong side to take the field at Accor Stadium on Good Friday. Thomas Burgess has been named to start in jersey 10 after coming off the bench in previous outings this season. This match will also see 27-year-old Jacob Host play his 100th NRL match. Host, named in jersey number 12 for this game, began his career with the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2016. After playing 51 games for the Dragons, Host joined the Rabbitohs in 2021 where he has since played another 48 games, scoring five tries.


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