Alongside the Roosters, the South Sydney Rabbitohs are one of only two NSWRL foundation clubs that still play in the top grade of Australian rugby league. They are also the oldest, having sprung into existence a week before their Eastern Suburbs rivals.
It was only a few years ago that South Sydney were on top of the world after breaking a decades-long premiership drought. Now, with Wayne Bennett at the helm, the Bunnies have grand plans after consecutive top-four finishes.
Will the green and red represent again in September? Let’s check out the odds for the 2020 NRL season.
About the South Sydney Rabbitohs
|Home ground:||ANZ Stadium|
|Captains:||Adam Reynolds, Cody Walker|
|Premierships:||21 – 1908, 1909, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 2014|
|2019 ladder finish:||Third (16-8)|
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Updated Rabbitohs futures odds
|2020 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4||Dally M Odds|
Best South Sydney Rabbitohs bets for NRL 2020
There are dozens of NRL futures markets for the Bunnies, but where are they likely to return some real value?
Click on the tabs below to get more analysis on these markets:
- Souths lost two warriors in Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess last year, so there are some questions about the depth of leadership at the club. There is, however, no argument about the overall quality of the squad. There are a few teams ahead of them, but the Bunnies have to figure in the premiership equation.
- Along with the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders, the Bunnies are one of the big contenders for a spot in the top four. They did it last year, running third, and look every chance to do it again if their key players stay on the park.
- Damien Cook starred for club and state in 2019 and starts the year among the top few contenders in the Dally M Medal betting. Souths have a number of tempting alternatives at longer odds, including Alex Johnston, Cameron Murray, Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker.
Rabbitohs players to watch in 2020
Once thought undersized for the big leagues, Murray is now one of the premier locks in the NRL. Another big season for the Bunnies might see the 22-year-old challenge for a starting guernsey in this year’s State of Origin series.
Position: Fullback, winger
Two lengthy spells on the sidelines saw Johnston lose the no.1 jersey to Adam Doueihi last season. While AJ is prolific from the wings, it is worth noting Souths lost only two of 10 games when he lined up at fullback in 2019.
Position: Centre, winger
Gagai is a first-class footballer who brings great flexibility to South Sydney’s back half. The Maroons star spent plenty of time at both wing and centre last season, so it will be interesting to see where he starts in 2020.
Rabbitohs records, stats and history
- Most games: 336 – John Sutton
Most career points: 1,841 – Eric Simms
Most points in a season: 265 – Eric Simms (1969)
Most career tries: 146 – Nathan Merritt
Most tries in a season: 29 – Les Brennan (1952)
Most points in a match: 29 – Johnny Greaves (vs. Roosters, 1952)
- Most consecutive wins: 16 (1925-26)
Most consecutive losses: 22 (1945-47)
Biggest winning margin: 67-0 (vs. Magpies, 1910)
Biggest losing margin: 0-66 (vs. Warriors, 2006)
Largest home attendance: 83,833 (vs. Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, 2014 NRL Grand Final)
- The South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club was formed on January 17, 2018 at the Redfern Town Hall. Among its founding members was Victor Trumper – one of the early superstars in Australian cricket.
Success was instant. Nicknamed after the rabbit-catching street hawkers of 19th-century Sydney, the Rabbitohs won the first two New South Wales Rugby League titles and added another pair at either end of the Great War. Seven premierships between 1925 and 1932 established the club as one of Australia’s great sporting powers.
Souths have enjoyed healthy rivalries with Eastern Suburbs and Balmain since the early days, but it was St George who emerged as their arch-nemesis in the middle years of the 20th century. The two teams shared all but three NSWRL Premierships between 1949 and 1971, with the Rabbitohs claiming nine and the Dragons reeling off 11 in a row from ’56 to ’66.
That was where the well ran dry for South Sydney. Financial problems hit hard in the early 1970s and drove top talents to other clubs. Those issues reached critical levels in the ’90s, so much so that the Bunnies were excluded when the newly formed National Rugby League was reduced to 14 teams in 2000.
That decision was met with public outcry, and not just from Souths supporters. A two-year legal campaign bore fruit when the High Court ruled that the NRL and News Limited had no legal grounds for dumping the Rabbits from the competition. The club was reinstated in 2002.
That is where the revival begins. After a few poor seasons, a consortium led by Hollywood actor Russell Crowe mounted a takeover of South Sydney. Flush with funds and driven by ambitious backers, the Rabbitohs were able to attract star players and top-drawer coaches for the first time in decades. So it was that in 2014, with Michael Maguire at the helm, the green and red beat the Canterbury Bulldogs to claim their first premiership win in 43 years.