Fixtures

NRL 05/28 07:30 12 South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers - View
NRL 06/11 05:00 14 Gold Coast Titans vs South Sydney Rabbitohs - View
NRL 06/16 09:50 15 St George/Illawarra Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs - View
NRL 07/02 09:35 16 South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Parramatta Eels - View
NRL 07/08 09:55 17 Newcastle Knights vs South Sydney Rabbitohs - View
NRL 07/17 08:15 18 Canterbury Bulldogs vs South Sydney Rabbitohs - View

Results

NRL 05/22 04:00 11 South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canberra Raiders L 12-32
NRL 05/14 05:00 10 New Zealand Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs W 30-32
NRL 05/05 09:50 9 South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos L 12-32
NRL 04/29 09:55 8 South Sydney Rabbitohs v Manly Sea Eagles W 40-22
NRL 04/23 09:35 7 Wests Tigers v South Sydney Rabbitohs L 23-22
NRL 04/15 06:00 6 South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs W 36-16
NRL 04/09 07:30 5 South Sydney Rabbitohs v St George/Illawarra Dragons W 24-12
NRL 04/01 09:05 4 Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs L 26-12
NRL 03/25 09:05 3 South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters W 28-16
NRL 03/17 09:05 2 Melbourne Storm v South Sydney Rabbitohs L 15-14
NRL 03/11 09:05 1 Brisbane Broncos v South Sydney Rabbitohs L 11-4
NRL - Charity Shield 02/26 08:00 - South Sydney Rabbitohs v St George/Illawarra Dragons L 10-16

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are a professional Australian rugby league club based in Redfern, a suburb of inner-southern Sydney, New South Wales. They participate in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and are one of nine existing teams from the state capital, Sydney. They are often called Souths or The Bunnies.

The club was formed in 1908, as one of the founding members of the New South Wales Rugby Football League, making them one of Australia's oldest rugby league teams. The Rabbitohs were formed, under their original 1908 articles of association, with the NSWRL competition, to represent the Sydney municipalities of Redfern, Alexandria, Zetland, Waterloo, Mascot and Botany. They are one of only two NSW foundation clubs still present in the NRL, the other being the Sydney Roosters.

The Rabbitohs' traditional heartland covers the once typically working-class suburbs of inner-south Sydney. The club is based in Redfern, where the club's administration and training facilities are located, however they have long held a wide supporter base spread all over New South Wales. The team's home ground is currently Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park. Across the New South Wales Rugby League (1908–1994), Australian Rugby League (1995–1997), and National Rugby League (1998-1999, 2002–present) competitions, South Sydney are the most successful professional team in the history of Australian rugby league with 21 first grade premierships.

History

Early years (1908–1950)

The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club was formed at a meeting on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall when administrator J. J. Giltinan, cricketer Victor Trumper and politician Henry Hoyle gathered together in front of a large crowd of supporters. The club played in the first round of the newly formed New South Wales Rugby League, defeating North Sydney 11–7 at Birchgrove Oval on 20 April 1908. The team went on to win the inaugural premiership then successfully defended their title in the 1909 season, winning the Grand Final by default. During these early years Arthur Hennessy was considered the "founding father" of the South Sydney rugby league club. A hooker and prop forward, Hennessy was Souths' first captain and coach. He was also New South Wales' first captain and Australia's first test captain in 1908. S. G. "George" Ball became Club Secretary in 1911 after Arthur Hennessy stood down from the position, and he remained in that capacity for over fifty years, only retiring a few years before his death in 1969.

After further premiership success in 1914 and 1918, South Sydney won seven of the eight premierships from 1925 to 1932, only missing out in 1930. The 1925 side went through the season undefeated and is only one of six Australian premiership sides in history to have achieved this feat. Such was Souths dominance in the early years of the rugby league competition that the Rabbitohs were labelled "The Pride of the League".

South Sydney struggled through most of the 1940s, only making the semifinals on two occasions (1944 and 1949). South Sydney's longest losing streak of 22 games was during the period 1945–1947. In the 1945 season they only managed to win one game while in 1946 they were unable to win a single game.

Golden era (1950–1955)

In the 1950s South Sydney again had great success, winning five of the six premierships from 1950 to 1955, and losing the 1952 Grand Final against Western Suburbs in controversial circumstances. The 1951 side's point scoring feat in their 42–14 victory over Manly-Warringah remains the highest score by a team in a Grand Final and "the miracle of '55" involved South Sydney winning 11 straight sudden death matches to win the premiership. Players that were involved in these years included Denis Donoghue, Jack Rayner, Les "Chicka" Cowie, Johnny Graves, Ian Moir, Greg Hawick, Ernie Hammerton, Bernie Purcell and Clive Churchill. Churchill, nicknamed "the Little Master" for his brilliant attacking fullback play, is universally regarded as one of the greatest ever Australian rugby league players.

Inbetween years (1956–1964)

In the late 1950s Souths began a poor run of form failing to make the finals from 1958 to 1964.

"Glory years" (1965–1971)

In 1965 a talented young side made the Grand Final against St. George who were aiming to secure their 10th straight premiership. The young Rabbitohs were not overawed by the Dragons' formidable experience and in front of a record crowd of 78,056 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, they went down narrowly 12–8. The nucleus of this side went on to feature in Australian representative teams for the next six years and ensured another golden period for South Sydney making five successive grand finals from 1967 to 1971, winning four. Bob McCarthy, John O'Neill, Eric Simms, Ron Coote, Mike Cleary and John Sattler from 1965 were later joined by Elwyn Walters, Ray Branighan, Paul Sait, Gary Stevens and coach Clive Churchill to form a fearsome combination before internal strife and poaching by other clubs from 1972 onwards unravelled the star studded pack. From this period comes part of South's and Australian Rugby League folklore when in the 1970 premiership decider against Manly, captain John Sattler inspired the side to victory playing out 70 minutes of the match with his jaw broken in three places after being king hit by Manly prop John Bucknall.[]

Hard times and revival (1972–1989)

Financial problems started to hit Souths in the early 1970s, forcing some players to go to other clubs. The licensed Leagues Club, traditionally such an important revenue provider to all first grade league sides, was closed in 1973 but a "Save Our Souths" campaign ensured the club survived. "Super Coach" Jack Gibson's arrival turned the club's form, winning the pre-season competition in 1978. The club captured victories in the mid-week Tooth Cup competition in 1981 and in the pre-season "Sevens" competition in 1988. The Rabbitohs made the finals on five occasions in the 1980s, including a dominant season to finish as minor premiers in 1989. The 1989 season proved to be the club's most successful in years, but was also the last time the club reached the finals until 2007. The following season the Rabbitohs finished as wooden spooners.

Financial trouble, exclusion and readmission (1990–2002)

The club stayed afloat in the 1990s despite major financial problems. Souths' only success came in 1994 when they won the pre-season competition, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 27–26 in the final. The Super League War and the eventual formation of the National Rugby League affected the club greatly when it was determined in 1998 that the newly formed competition would be contracted to 14 teams for the 2000 season. Following a series of mergers by other teams, South Sydney failed to meet the National Rugby League's selection criteria to compete in the competition and were subsequently excluded from the premiership at the end of the 1999 season.

In 2000 and 2001, South Sydney fought their way back into the competition following a string of high-profile legal battles against the National Rugby League and News Limited. A number of well attended public rallies took place during this time, as supporters from many different clubs got behind South Sydney's case. Upon appeal to the Federal Court in 2001, South Sydney won readmission into the premiership for the 2002 season.

NRL era (2002–present)

Early struggles (2002–2006)

After being readmitted, the Rabbitohs were initially unsuccessful in the premiership, finishing amongst the bottom three teams for five seasons straight including three wooden spoons. However, following the club's takeover by actor Russell Crowe and businessman Peter Holmes à Court in 2006, the club has had great success in securing a number of major national and international player signings such as the four Burgess Brothers and Greg Inglis. The club was also successful in recruiting several key managerial positions including Jason Taylor as head coach in 2007 and more recently Michael Maguire in 2012.

South Sydney was a party to one of the sponsorship deals promoted by the fraudulent company Firepower International.

Building years (2007–2011)

South Sydney won their first three games of the 2007 season (marking their best start to a season since 1972) and being competitive in every game. On the back of one of the best defences in the competition, the Rabbitohs finished strongly making the semi-finals for the first time since 1989. They finished the season in 7th position, going down to Manly in the playoffs.

On 26 January 2008, the Rabbitohs lost 24–26 to the Leeds Rhinos in front of 12,000 fans at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time first-grade professional rugby league teams from Australia and England have played each other in the United States.

May 2008 saw the sudden resignation of the then current Executive chairman and CEO, Peter Holmes à Court. He had been appointed to the role of CEO at the start of 2008. Reports suggested that Holmes à Court had been forced to stand down after his relationship with Russell Crowe had deteriorated beyond repair.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated their centenary year during the 2008 National Rugby League season. That year they were named the National Trust's inaugural 'Community Icon', in recognition of the club's significant longstanding contribution to sport and sporting culture at both state and national levels.

On 11 November 2010, South Sydney signed Melbourne back Greg Inglis on a three year deal starting in the 2011 season.

In April 2011, Souths announced Michael Maguire would replace retiring coach John Lang for the 2012 season, signing as head coach on a three year deal.

2012

In Maguire's first year as coach, South Sydney finished third at the end of the regular season, qualifying for the finals for the first time since 2007 and just the second time since 1989, recording their 1000th First Grade win in the process. Souths were eventually eliminated in the preliminary final, losing 32–8 to the Bulldogs.

2013

In 2013 Souths finished second on the table, again reaching the preliminary finals before being knocked out by Manly in a 30–20 loss.

2014

South Sydney finished third at the end of the regular season in 2014. In week 1 of the finals series they defeated Manly 40–24 and backing up in week 3 to beat the Roosters 32–22 in the preliminary final, qualifying for their first grand final since 1971, playing the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

After a slim lead of 6–0 early in the first half of the decider, Souths went on to score 4 unanswered tries in the second to defeat Canterbury-Bankstown 30–6, breaking a 43-year drought to claim the premiership. Lock forward Sam Burgess received the Clive Churchill Medal despite playing the entirety of the match with a fractured cheekbone suffered after a head clash during the first tackle of the game. This was the last match Burgess played before his departure to rugby union.

On Thursday 9 October 2014, the South Sydney club were presented with the Keys to the City of Randwick by Mayor Ted Seng at a presentation ceremony at Souths Juniors in Kingsford and later the same day awarded the Keys to the City of Sydney by Lord Mayor Clover Moore at a reception at Sydney Town Hall.

On 23 October 2014, Holmes à Court sold his 50% share of Blackcourt League Investments Pty Limited, and consequently his 37.5% stake in South Sydney, to James Packer's ScrumPac Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings.

2015

South Sydney started the 2015 season in promising fashion before injuries to key players set in with the club finishing 7th on the table and qualifying for the finals. In week one of the finals they played against Cronulla in the elimination match and lost 28–12, ending their season.

2016

The 2016 NRL season proved to be a disappointing one for Souths as they finished 12th on the table, with only 9 wins for the entire season.

2017

The 2017 NRL season seemed to mirror the previous year with the club again finishing 12th on the table and captain Greg Inglis missing the entire season through injury after an anterior cruciate ligament injury acquired in the first game of the year. At seasons end, coach Michael Maguire was terminated and assistant coach Anthony Seibold was appointed head coach.

2018

For the 2018 NRL season, many experts predicted Souths to finish outside the top 8 but the club performed strongly throughout the year finishing 3rd on the table at the end of the regular season. In week one of the finals, South Sydney played against Melbourne and looked to have secured the victory until a late try and a field goal gave Melbourne the win 29–28. In week two, South Sydney played against St George for the first time in the finals series since 1984. Souths won the match 13–12 thanks to three field goals from Adam Reynolds including one in the final minute of the match. In the preliminary final, Souths faced off against arch rivals Eastern Suburbs in what would also be the last match played at the Sydney Football Stadium. In front of a ground record crowd of 44,380, Souths were defeated 12–4.

2019

South Sydney started the 2019 NRL season strongly with the club winning 10 of their first 11 matches. Following the 2019 State of Origin series, Souths suffered a slump in form losing 4 games in a row. The club then recovered towards the end of the regular season winning 3 games in a row to finish in 3rd place on the table and qualified for the finals series.

South Sydney would go on to lose their qualifying final against their arch rivals the Sydney Roosters 30–6 in week one of the 2019 finals series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In the elimination final against Manly-Warringah, Souths won a hard fought match 34–26 at ANZ Stadium to reach their second consecutive preliminary final. In the preliminary final against Canberra, Souths would go on to fall short of a grand final appearance losing the match 16–10 at a sold out Canberra Stadium.

2020

South Sydney finished the 2020 NRL season in sixth place and qualified for the finals. Along the way, the club recorded big victories over Parramatta winning 38–0 and defeating arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters 60–8 which was Souths' biggest ever win over the club. Souths would then defeat Newcastle and Parramatta to reach the preliminary final against Penrith. In the preliminary final, Souths lost a close encounter 20–16 which ended their season. The result also meant it was the club's third straight preliminary final loss.

2021

South Sydney began the 2021 NRL season as one of the favourites to win the premiership. After losing to Melbourne in the opening round of the year, Souths went on to win the next seven games in a row. In the next three games however, the club suffered a 50–0 loss against Melbourne and a 56–12 loss against Penrith.

In round 22 of the 2021 NRL season, South Sydney defeated the Gold Coast 36–6, in doing so they set a new record in the competitions 113-year history being the first club to score 30 points or more in eight consecutive matches.

Souths would go on to finish the regular season in third place after winning 13 of their last 14 matches.

In week one of the 2021 Finals Series, South Sydney defeated Penrith 16–10 to book a place in the preliminary final for the fourth season in a row. In the preliminary final, the club defeated Manly 36–16 to reach the Grand Final for the first time since 2014 and only the second time since 1971.

In the 2021 NRL Grand Final, South Sydney trailed Penrith 8–6 at the half-time break. In the second half, Souths player Cody Walker threw a long pass which was intercepted by Penrith's Stephen Crichton which saw the player score untouched under the posts. With five minutes remaining, South Sydney scored in the corner through Alex Johnston. South Sydney captain Adam Reynolds then had a conversion attempt from the sideline to make the game 14–14. Reynolds narrowly missed his attempt which went just wide of the post. In the final minute, Reynolds attempted a two-point field goal which fell short of the crossbar. Penrith would go on to win the match 14–12.