The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Des Hasler part ways, effectively immediately.
3 days ago
Gone are the days when the Rabbitohs could be considered Wooden Spoon favourites year in, year out... but are they about to have a new tag placed on them? It would be seen by many as a failure if the South Sydney side couldn’t win a premiership with the current squad and for two years it appears that they have ‘choked’ in the finals.
The Burgess Brothers, Greg Inglis and John Sutton are all household names and have all helped the Rabbitohs become one of the best sides of the past few seasons. But the only thing they still lack is finals consistency. When the pressure is truly on, does this squad really have what it takes?
As 2014 nears the boys from Redfern are expected to once again be a strong side and will appear in the finals from a good position. They will have their wins, their losses - but will they get their rings?
Where they can win it
In the forwards. The Rabbitohs have a formidable engine room that Adam Reynolds is able to work off the back of. In season 2014, it appears John Sutton will make the move to lock as well, adding a strong ball player to take more of a lead. The Burgess brothers will be back bigger and better than ever, and with Sam Burgess leaving the code in 2015, he will want a massive year to finish it all off.
Hooker Issac Luke, one of the most consistent and damaging rakes in the code, is the biggest piece to their premiership puzzle. If he can fire up, make quick metres from half and control the tempo of the game all season, there is absolutely no reason why the South Sydney forwards can’t be the best. In 2013, his quiet games also appeared to be some of the teams worst so look out for Issac Luke and the Big Bunnies.
Where they might struggle
Inconsistancy in big matches is the one thing killing off the Rabbitohs. Finishing third in 2012 and second in 2013, Michael Maguire needs to really push his side in the finals in 2014. No longer can they just be there, they have to win one now. When the big games roll around, it just seems like the Rabbitohs burrow back into their rabbit hole and goes missing. It can be as simple as not being to hold their own on the big stage for the Rabbitohs.
Young gun to watch
Luke Keary played 10 games in 2013, maybe not making him a rookie anymore, but he is still the young gun the Rabbitohs are banking on. Although he faces time on the sideline with an injury, if he can get back onto the park at some point during the season, he could just be what the doctor ordered. He has a lot of flair in attack and can defend something the Rabbitohs have been able to adapt really well too. If he gets back on the park, the South Sydney Rabbitohs will go up a gear.
1. Greg Inglis, 2. Nathan Merritt, 3. Beau Champion, 4. Bryson Goodwin, 5. Dylan Walker, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Sam Burgess, 9. Issac Luke, 10. Dave Tyrrell, 11. Chris McQueen, 12. Ben Te'o, 13. John Sutton
Interchange: 14. George Burgess, 15. Tom Burgess, 16. Ben Lowe, 17. Jason Clark