The Rabbitohs pay tribute this Saturday night to the late great John Sattler when they take the field in a blockbuster triple-header against cross-town rivals the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
The Script So Far: Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles
The South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have a healthy rivalry harking back to 1947 - the year our opponents entered the NSWRFL competition - having played 148 first-grade matches thus far.
South Sydney proved too strong for the Sea Eagles in their first Grand Final encounter in 1951, which saw the men from Redfern rack up a record score in the 42-14 thumping, with winger Johnny Graves crossing for four tries, a tally that is yet to be bested in a decider.
Of course, the hostility reached fever pitch in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the rivals competed in two more deciders, with legendary Captain John Sattler guiding the Cardinal and Myrtle to victory on both occasions.
None at South Sydney will forget the undeniable courage of Sattler on the 19th of September, 1970, where he guided the Club to a 19th Premiership, playing for 77 minutes with a broken jaw after being struck by opposition front rower John Bucknall.
Every player wearing the Red and Green on Saturday will be looking to channel Sattler's spirit as the Club pays tribute to the four-time Premiership-winning Captain following his passing earlier this week.
Just like they did back in the halcyon days of long-sleeved jumpers and bootleg tackles, the top three men's grades of the Club will be on display at Accor Stadium in what is a big win for Members and supporters alike.
And for the record, the Rabbitohs will be looking to continue their rich vein of form against Manly, having won the last six contests, with their last being a high-scoring outing that saw the Red and Green pile on seven tries to four.
The Line Ups:
Jason Demetriou's side has two omissions and two additions in the forward pack to face the Sea Eagles on Saturday night.
Latrell Mitchell heads the backline at fullback, joined by Alex Johnston, Isaiah Tass, Campbell Graham and Izaac Tu'itupou Thompson, with Cody Walker and Lachlan Ilias in the halves.
Daniel Suluka-Fifita comes into the front row alongside Damien Cook and Thomas Burgess, while Keaon Koloamatangi and the incoming Jacob Host make up the back row, with Captain Cameron Murray donning the famous no.13 jersey.
Blake Taaffe, Michael Chee-Kam, Davvy Moale and Jed Cartwright have been named on the interchange bench, while Ben Lovett, Dean Hawkins, Tallis Duncan, Taane Milne and Peter Mamouzelos make up the extended bench.
Manly will field the same side that defeated Parramatta last Thursday night in what was a high-scoring affair, and feature a number of threats across the park including the likes of Tom Trbojevic, halves Josh Schuster and Daly Cherry-Evans as well as second rower Haumole Olakau'atu.
South Sydney will need to be wary of the new-look Sea Eagles, who now have former Head Coach Anthony Seibold at the helm, and have scored over 30 points in both of their matches so far in 2023.
Key Battle: TrellMit vs Turbo
It's been five years since these two faced one another at NRL level, so superstar fullback Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic will be champing at the bit to get one over their opposite come Saturday night.
Both Australian representatives and teammates in the State of Origin arena, 'TrellMit' and 'Turbo' are two of the most dangerous fullbacks in the competition - and are capable of blowing opposition defenses apart with their explosive running and sleight of hand.
Mitchell has once again been a focal point of the Rabbitohs' attack to start the season, setting up 2 tries, breaking 15 tackles and kicking 9 goals, and has averaged 123 metres per game against tough opposition.
His opponent this week in Trbojevic has been equally as imperative for the Sea Eagles and is coming off a big performance against the lowly Eels, where he ran for 204 metres, made 10 tackle breaks, set up a try and scored two himself.
All eyes will be on the proven match winners, who will be out to prove what they can do following trips to America to undergo rehabilitation following their own respective leg injuries sustained in the past 12 months.
Looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats - both of which were close calls against rival teams - Jason Demetriou's side will be out to get back in the winner's circle while paying tribute to a man that helped to define what it means to be a Rabbitoh.
The Club will be celebrating the life and career of John Sattler throughout the day, and will wear a commemorative jersey in honour of the Club legend, featuring his famous 'torn rabbit' logo.
Rabbitohs Members and supporters won't want to miss out on this occasion and can purchase tickets here to spend a day out at Accor Stadium to watch the NRL, NSW Cup and Jersey Flegg Cup sides take the field from 3:05pm. Those unable to travel can watch the match on Foxtel, or stream via Kayo.