Neverending South Side Story

Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 09:12 pm
True confession time, I'm a South Sydney Rabbitohs tragic (since I was 5 years old) - and I'm gonna use this spot to post news, observations and reminisces.

For the unititiated they are a team in the National Rugby League, and are a foundation club of the game in Australia, formed in 1907.

I'm not so much interested in the club as a sporting phenomema as I am in it as a social one.

The club has been a perennial struggler in the modern professional era and was last year purchased from the members last year by a businessman and a movie star. Since then the club has been visibly reinventing itself - and not in a bad way. Take this story for example.

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Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 09:44 pm
things a bit quiet, are they, hinge?

Bloody RissoleCrowe.
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Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 10:00 pm
The book of feuds is an interesting motivational tool.

We have been getting some doco on TV about the Rabbitos
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Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 10:27 pm
Yep things are a little quiet but mostly I wanted somewhere to put this stuff and get it out of my inbox.

This was from much earlier in the year

Souths now has a new code - plastered over its hometown, Redfern. It talks of how the management and players want to revive the colours and reputation of the oldest club in Sydney.

"We play sport for a living and are humbled by and grateful for the privilege," it states.

"We protect family. We respect women and are proud that they know that. We seek to earn your respect and approval off the field."
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Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 11:11 pm
Paul Mellor is training to be an rugby league referee.

Near as I can tell we lost 5 players:
David Peachey (retired), Paul Mellor (retired), Shane Rigon (retired), Reece Simmonds (retired), Joe Williams (Penrith Panthers), Joe Galuvao (Parramatta Eels).

And 1 has signed, Craig Wing, who debuted for the bunnies the year before Rupert kicked them out (boo hiss).

relying on the juniors I guess.
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Reply Sat 10 Nov, 2007 04:29 pm
Squad has been announced and there are no new big names apart from Craig Wing. Hegarty is still in the side, but named in the wings, centres AND forwards. Forwards isn't a bad idea except he can't run forward without a 20m dart right first.

Club President Shane Richardson discusses the 2008 lists

They've bought a few players from the QRL (both the top try scorers; Tamanika and Barnes).

A few promising players returning from reconstructions, and a lot of lower grade players pushing for top spots.

Oh, and the preseason starts on Australia Day in Jacksonville Florida - against the Leeds Rhinos...

That's different.
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Reply Sun 11 Nov, 2007 08:42 pm
Well - at least Craig Wing is decorative!
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Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2007 07:09 pm
Get a drip tray for that woman!

Latest rumour - Cusak will go to England and the bunnies will make a bid for Shillington, who'll be discard by the dirty chooks who are struggling to stay under the salary cap now that Willy Mason's in the roost.
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Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 05:03 pm
Oooh new rumours, Jarryd Haynes and Kurt Gidley coming in 2009.
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Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 05:10 pm
It just gets weirder
Rabbitohs plan to join Twenty20 cricket boom
SMH | Sunday, 04 November 2007

NO BUNNY: How Australian fast bowler Brett Lee might look in a Rabbitohs Twenty20 strip following news that South Sydney Rugby League Club owners Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes 'a Court are looking to extend their unorthodox foray into sports investment by buying into a franchise in the newly launched Indian Premier League cricket competition.

South Sydney Rugby League Club owners Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court are set to extend their unorthodox foray into sports investment by buying into a franchise in the newly launched Indian Premier League cricket competition.

Full story
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Reply Mon 10 Dec, 2007 12:28 am
Crowe's pokie powerbroker

December 07, 2007 12:00am

RUSSELL Crowe's plan to make South Sydney Leagues Club a poker machine-free venue has drawn support from some of the country's most powerful politicians.

Incoming senator and avid anti-pokie campaigner Nick Xenophon will next month lobby Prime Minister Kevin Rudd about the issue.

Mr Xenophon is expected to argue for Souths to obtain financial incentives such as tax breaks if it goes ahead with the controversial plan to rid the club of the pokie scourge.

The political involvement comes after Crowe and his partner Peter Holmes-a-Court launched an online bid to sell their proposal to the red and green faithful.

They urged 10,000 fans via Facebook to endorse the plan before next Tuesday's board meeting.

At least one member of the Souths board is believed to be against the proposal because of lost revenue.

Yesterday Mr Xenophon, who will hold the balance of power in the Senate from July next year, said he and World Vision head Tim Costello planned to discuss Souths with Mr Rudd as soon as possible.

"It was a pretty gutsy call by Souths to go down that path," Mr Xenophon said. "We need to look beyond the balance sheet of that club and look at the broader benefit of getting rid of pokies in the community. We need to look at the big picture."

Mr Xenophon said he had been inspired to move from South Australian to federal politics by Souths' determination to become pokie-free.

State governments were too dependent on pokie revenue to take a firm stand - a sentiment Mr Rudd had supported in the past, Mr Xenophon said.

Among "incentives and sweeteners" he wants to offer clubs that go pokie-free include further tax breaks, venue promotion and handouts for refurbishment.

"There's scope there to give assistance, to give those clubs that want to get rid of their pokies some financial incentive because of the huge social benefit," Mr Xenophon said.

"This should be a seen as a litmus test of the willingness of the Government to move towards fewer and fewer pokies in the community."

Meanwhile, the move by Crowe and Mr Holmes a Court to take the campaign online struck a chord with internet-savvy fans.

Their "A club with no pokies" Facebook site had yesterday already been flooded with comments from more than 500 members.

"Finally a club that has the guts to say no to the social epidemic that is the poker machine. And it's my club!" Rabbitohs supporter Alison Wilson said.

Mark Courtney wrote: "I am so proud to call myself a Souths fan and member when I see the club actively working to make a positive social impact in the community."

Even non-Rabbitohs fans were delighted by the initiative.

"I'm a Tiger boy and I can say what is being done here would be a great example of what can be done for the community," Ben Bartlett said.
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Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2008 10:55 pm
Russell Crowe gets gladiatorial over gambling machines

By Tom Curtis

Full article on The Scotsman The comments section was enlightening; lots of Scots who've visited Australia and agree that the 'puggies' have made Oz pub culture a bore.

HE MAY seem an unlikely candidate to lead a moral crusade. But Russell Crowe has become the rallying point for a bid to halt the damage caused by compulsive gambling on Australia's hordes of poker slot-machines.

With his wife Danielle Spencer, Crowe is helping to fight the scourge of poker-machine addiction in Australia, which has an estimated 300,000The Oscar-winning actor, previously best-known off-screen for his hellraising, is the focus of a new drive to wean Australians off the "pokies" which take billions of pounds from them each year.

Crowe has persuaded the board of the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby-league club, which he co-owns, to remove the slot machines from its premises.

This is despite the fact that the scores of "one-armed bandits" were raking in about £430,000 a year for the club.

Now his actions have sparked a bout of soul-searching among this nation of gamblers. Australia has more than 200,000 poker machines, 21 per cent of the world total, and together they take up to £4.3bn from gamblers each year.

Charities complain that the machines are particularly concentrated in poorer areas, and take disproportionate amounts of money from people on welfare payments and those with gambling problems. There are an estimated 300,000 problem gamblers in Australia.

New Labour prime minister Kevin Rudd has suggested the federal government wants to address the issue, saying: "I hate poker machines and I know something of their impact on families."

Clover Moore, lord mayor of Sydney, a city whose pokies turn over about £1billion a year, joined Rudd's condemnation, saying: "Australia's sad boast is that it has more than one-fifth of all the poker machines in the world. I am delighted by the prime minister's comments and hope that, finally, we will wean ourselves off our shameful reliance on the income from these machines of misery."

This financial reliance is the subject of a new study, out yesterday, which said Australian state governments had become "addicted" to the huge tax revenue provided by pokies, and that the industry escaped tough regulation because of this relationship.

Its authors, Charles Livingstone and Richard Woolley, from Monash and Western Sydney universities, said in the International Gambling Studies Journal: "These revenues arguably rely on unsafe consumption practices, generating considerable harm."

They called for official recognition that poker machines fuel problem gambling. "It would be a major advance if governments simply admitted that they're in it for the money, because money can be replaced," they said.

"What can't be replaced is the self-respect, mental health and peace of mind of those who continue to be harmed."

Millionaire businessman Peter Holmes à Court, co-owner with Crowe of the Rabbitohs, said: "Russell threw down the gauntlet and said, 'Can we do this?' We put a proposal for a family-friendly club, an inclusive club."

In a letter to club members, the two men said that excessive use of pokies would hurt the Rabbitohs' core-support area of Redfern, a largely blue-collar part of inner-city Sydney.

"We just believe that low-income areas like Redfern need fewer poker machines rather than more," they said.

"We believe a club can be successful if it caters for our members and the broad community … and the distracting din of pokies doesn't stop the conversation or drown out live music."

Crowe, who won the best-actor Oscar in 2001 for his role in Gladiator, has also set up a "club with no pokies" page on internet network site Facebook.
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Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 10:06 pm
It's been a while since I posted about the Bunnies so here's a quick recap of the season so far:

Lost their first 7 games. Finally won a game in round 8. Lost the next 3. Chris Sandow has his first grade debut against the New Zealand Warriors and Souths haven't been beaten since. Five in a row.

Here's some of Chris's story

$30,000 for buy of the season Chris Sandow
By James Phelps | July 14, 2008 12:00am

WHAT a bargain - $20,000, a job and a bedroom at Botany. That is the price the Rabbitohs paid for the Aboriginal wonder kid who has resurrected their season.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that teenage sensation Chris Sandow was signed by the Rabbitohs for a package worth no more than $30,000.

Pocket change for a kid who has become the hottest player in the NRL after five stunning performances.

"I have kept a close eye on Chris for a long time," said Souths recruitment manager Mark Hughes.

"When I knew he was available, I just jumped. I had to have him there and then. We all knew he was going to be that good."

Sandow's story is complicated.

The former Australian schoolboy star was picked up by the Rabbitohs for the bargain basement price as his career lay at the crossroads.

At just 18, he was on the verge of rugby league oblivion after being dumped by the Titans for poor discipline.

For failing to turn up to physio sessions and being an erratic trainer who seemed to have his mind elsewhere.

Sandow's mother Rhonda last night lifted the lid on her son's tumultuous time on the Gold Coast - and revealed the secret inspiration driving the kid dubbed the "Aboriginal Alfie".

"He called me while he was at the Titans and said, 'Mum are you standing up or sitting down?' " Rhonda said.

"I said, 'What do you want me to do?' He said, 'You better sit down'.

"Then he told me his girlfriend was four months pregnant. "He was recovering from shoulder surgery and was injured for most of the year.

"He really struggled at the time because he wasn't doing much training and then had the pressure of knowing he was about to be a dad.

"He didn't even tell me about the baby until June when his partner was four months pregnant.

"And I don't think he told anyone at the club."

Stephen Sandow is now seven months old.

He lives with his mother Mari, 20, and his grandmother Rhonda in Cherbourg, a heartbreaking 1106km away from Redfern Oval.

"It is very tough for him and I really think he is missing his family," Rhonda said. "But he just had to go and have a crack. Opportunities like this come along once in a lifetime.

"And in a way I think it has been good for him. The baby has really helped him grow up and made him want more out of life.

"Maybe Mari and the baby have been a very good thing for him."

Sandow has certainly been a good thing for the Rabbitohs.

Since making his debut against the Warriors in round 13, South Sydney have not lost a game.

And Hughes, who first signed Sandow to a scholarship when he was the recruitment man at Bulldogs, isn't surprised.

"He was always going to be special," Hughes said.

"I picked him up at Burleigh when he was 14 but we ended up losing him to the Titans. He was small but he just had it all."

In fact, the Rabbitohs must have had an inkling of the 72kg storm that was about to hit the NRL.

On the eve of his first-grade debut, Sandown was summoned into the club's offices and signed for a further two years on an upgraded deal worth an estimated $100,000 a year.

"I would hate to think what would have happened if we didn't lock him away then," Hughes said.

"Could you imagine the number of clubs after him now?"

And when the new contract begins in November, Sandown will finally have enough money to reunite his family.

"Yeah, he is going to bring Mari and Stephen down to Sydney in November," Rhonda said.

"It will make it all worth it."


Family man ... Chris Sandow at home in Cherbourg with mother Rhonda. Photograph: Dean Marzolla / The Daily Telegraph

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Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 12:00 am
It's a good day to be a bunnies supporter. 40-32 against last week's joint leaders, Manly. Still in with a mathematical chance of making the finals (highly unlikely).

They made their usual high number of mistakes but held their heads up and decimated their highly fancied opponents.

Standouts for me were John Sutton (as always), Chris Sandow, Wingy, Merrit, Fa'alago, Champion and the entire forward pack - although I don't know why they give Beau Falloon so much time on to rest Isaac Luke, we always seem to fall apart when that happens.
in Rugby League
There is no better sight than Roy Asotasi sprinting toward the try line.
Reply Sun 24 Aug, 2008 07:09 pm
And this time not so good. Definitely a mental thing. They were probably thinking about the chooks this weekend.

They did look good in the first half, but a couple bad bounces of the ball and they just wilted. Most unlike them. Still it was only the second time this season they've led at half time - they just aren't used to it. And one day I'm going to calculate our for and against while Beau Falloon is on the field and Isaac Luke off. Not that I'm blaming Falloon - it just seems that the whole team loses impetus.
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Reply Sun 25 Jul, 2010 05:25 pm
Wow - haven't touched this topic forever.

The bunnies broke their three game losing streak by breaking NZ warriors 5 game winning streak 38-28. With a couple of key players out. Unfortunately Dave Taylor looks to have a broken collarbone.

Great story on Chris Sandow (love that little fella)
Still involved in Cherborg, trying to stop kids from petrol sniffing
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Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2010 08:52 pm
In media speak 'A coup'
South Sydney set to gain on and off the field with signing of NRL superstar Greg Inglis

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Reply Wed 12 Jun, 2013 11:49 pm
Wow, haven't touched this thread in a while. Probably because we've been doing well for a while (top of the table right now) and they are playing in Cairns this weekend and Mrs Hinge and I are going. Woo-h00!

We have a fair history of celebrity endorsements since Russell Crowe bought us (Snoop Dogg springs to mind) but this is the best one yet. Om.

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Reply Fri 27 Sep, 2013 02:00 am
Nervous, less than two hours til kick off in the match to qualify for next weeks grand final.
Reply Thu 17 Oct, 2013 11:58 pm
My nervousness was justified. After being 14 nil up after 15 minutes they lost the plot and Manly scored 30 unanswered points and then the buns got a consolation try at the end.

A pretty disappointing end to a great season. They need to step up a gear to be a chance next year.
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