1st Preliminary Final: Raiders vs Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium

“…calling all South Sydney Rabbitohs Faithful……”

We’ve all read the diktat that, we’ll never win a comp as long as we have,
–insert players name here ______________
–insert players position here ______________ playin for us”.

Even though, we just happen to find ourselves 80 mins away from contesting, The Big Dance! commonly known as the NRL Grand Final.

Just 80 more minutes.

Few have backed us and many have already written us off. Our last couple of performances have required a bit of surgery on the run but, we still somehow managed to get the job done and win these games.

Our up and down form has even affected the Souths Faithful it seems.
Many are finding it difficult to summon the courage to hope again or is it, ‘dare to hope again?’

Can we muster the courage to look deep inside and find enough belief and hope in our boys and then realise that,
“…we can actually win this thing!..”

I mean it’s almost magical the way so many things have unfolded throughout the year for us.
“…it’s a head shakin situation Jerry!”

From a footy purist standpoint, it’s been pretty ragged at times and downright embarrassing.
“…they’ve had there pants pulled down a few times in that 1st half……” (which btw is the reason Gagai has a suntanned bum) :innocent:

The Media’a prophets of doom have had their say too…

“They’ve been really lucky with a few of their wins…”
“you know that luck can’t keep happening…”,
“…their defence was non existent the other night…”
“…they got away with that game but it won’t keep happening”

But, maybe it can?

Who’s to say, “it can’t keep happening?”

After all, the experts are always telling us, “….in this game you make you own luck…”
You always hear the ex-players say, “…you always need a little luck to win a comp…” So…

Why don’t we acknowledge the luck when we see it, and embrace it?
(I think it’s because ‘luck’ is hard to see and, hard to accept until it’s all played out and then you can track it after the fact)

Why can’t we accept this fortune will keep falling upon us?
“…it’s a dare to believe situation Jerry…”


We really have had a lotta luck this year if you look at it from a certain perspective. Many of the close wins at the death? the explosion of form against the Broncos when we needed it most. After that horrible Canterbury game where everyone had written us off. We just held on in the final minutes of that Bronco’s game … but we did hold on…… and then we danced.

The second last Roosters game, especially the 2nd half revealed some real skill, will and grit buried deep within our boys and don’t be surprised when that shows itself again this week.
The Roosters towelled us up the following week of the Semi but, that’s an ongoing battle that’ll be fought again at another place and at another time with renewed fury.

The magical way Bennett arrived in Redfern was a weird one at the time too. All the power plays happening and then wham, he finally appears at that first Press Conference, …it felt so weird that we’d actually snared him…
“…maybe he’s senile and we’ve been tricked….?” we all thought it.
And then with the timing of his arrival… …with the Pre Season already starting, he was late and it was all a bit wrong and mistimed which, is how you could describe our Form too btw.

…You know I’ve never seen Bennett happier to be honest. He’s really mellowed into a real Human Being hasn’t he? It’s like Souths is where he’s finally found his soul after a lifetime search at other Clubs?
Spoken in an Irish accent… ‘….May your smile continue to grow……’

Now to Footy!

Can we win it?

My bloody oath we can!

What do we make of this Raiders Team? Are they really that good? What sort of side are they?

I see them as a side very similar to ours actually. They like to play expansive footy and they like to mix it up across the park with two clever Pommie 2nd rowers who’ve got plenty of attitude and ball playing skills. (taming that attitude may end up a problem for them though)

They mix up their attack really well and hit you all over the park. They’ve got weapons on both sides of the field and size and skill in the middle with Tapine and Sam Papalii.
Sam can play it straight, tight and safe or, he can ball play like a second 5/8th.
It just depends what mood he’s in.

He’ll either terrorise us all day or you’ll hear some kid ask his dad,
“Hey Dad, who’s that fat slob in lime green?” because Papalii can also go missing.

In attack they like broken play with plenty of offloads and backing up. In set plays, they definitely prefer their Left Side and place a lot of trust in young Jack Wighton doing something. He’s a bit hit and miss really. He likes to run the ball and he can be really dangerous or, he can look ordinary too.
He still looks like he’s putting his game together for me. He can look brilliant sometimes and be pretty clunky at others. We have one of them ourselves in Walker but I see that Walker is just a little more clever and a few years ahead.

That’s why they’re a bit like us I reckon. Their style of Footy is similar and their personality as a footy team is similar too. They’re my 2nd team this year.
They promise so much but their delivery can be a bit off at times.

They have some really good players but Hodgson is their brains-trust. He’s always dangerous with the ball and we’ll have to present and defend, a very confident and tight defensive ruck for the entire game if we’re to eliminate him. If we stand back on our heels and watch in defence and just wait for Hodgson & Co to do something, they’ll definitely do it.
They’ll bite us bad if we sit back and watch.

Defensively they’ve look strong. Against the Storm they put in a really good performance and they scrap and fight for every inch of dirt but, I just can’t help noticing that they remind me of unripened fruit. I just can’t help thinking, “…they’re a year too early yet…”. Their defence can be as ordinary as our sometimes.

I just think we’ll beat em.

I might be wrong of course but I’m daring to believe and that’s what I see. I think this game will be something like the 2012 Final against Canterbury. We were promising so much hope that year but it all went down the drain at the sight of Reynolds holding his Left Hammy behind the posts while the Trainer led him from the field.
Only this time I think it’s Canberra who’s the team promising so much. I just think they’re a year too early and, we should be really confident of winning this game.

Match Ups?

Well, they’re all right across the park. Leilua Vs Graham (hopefully not Gagai)
All the Englishmen Vs all the Englishmen.
(If this doesn’t bring the best out of the Burgii they all better change their choice of underpants)
Cook Vs Hodgson
Cam Murray Vs the lot of em.
Sam Burgess Vs Wighton and Bateman, Papalii and Whitehead etc, etc.
Walker and Reynolds Vs Sezer and Wighton
Klockstadt Vs Doueihi and the list goes on.
The Match ups are all across the park.

Where it will be Won?

The game will be determined in the middle. Up front. The battle of the Forwards. Say it any way you want but, the Forwards are where the game’s won or lost.

I think we will hold them in the middle and then they’ll naturally try to attack us on the edges as the game progresses but I think we’ll hold them and they’ll start getting frustrated. They’ll try too hard and start dropping the ball.
We’ll confidently take our opportunities and force them to play ‘catch up footy’ which will lead to them trying too hard and continually making errors.

We will outlast them and out play them. We’ll show a different steel this week than that of last and, our defence will surprise many.
Manly are a big powerful team across the park with a wily and clever Halfback cleverly supported by 2 of the wiliest No. 9’s in the comp.
We struggled with their size and the physicality of the game last week but, we still eventually got the job done regardless.

The Result?

This week we face a clever team, an athletic team and a tough team. This week we’ll match them with size and we’re cleverer and, just as cagey, just as athletic and plenty tough.
We should win this game and I’m predicting it to be close for 55-60 minutes but, as the game progresses, I think we’ll run away with it.
Especially in the last 10 minutes.

The Margin?

I see us winning by about 8-10 points with Liam Knight, Cam Murray and Adam Doueihi being the standouts of a very solid and proud performance of the whole South Sydney Rabbitohs team.

… to the Souths Faithful… … enjoy this one. It’s not all magic I know. because there’s a helluva lot of will within this team.


Nice one TA. I think it was the great Darren Lockyer who stated a few weeks ago that, although they’re unpredictable (and downright poor) at times, no team can stay with Souths when they “click”. Cook, Walker, Jet, AJ are all brilliant attacking players. Hopefully we’ll click this Friday.

Bunnies by 6


Great write up mate, who knows any more?

This team has made it further than I thought they would, I wrote us off after the loss against Canterbury, we haven’t put a good game together for months now and I suppose things have to click finally.

1 point or 50 points, I don’t care what the margin is, just as long as we do it.

Key points, we really need some value for money from Tom and George this week, our pack needs to do the heavy lifting.

Cody and Adam, wake up boys, this is where the shit gets real.

Dane, for crying out loud son, aim up!

South’s by 18


A ripper write-up, great stuff. I’m beginning to believe we can actually win, just.


Terrific review, the best of the year. :grinning:


Excellent write Tor.

You’ve covered everything.


Sparkling effort TA. Great read & rev up to the faithful.

I just wish I could be as confident as you are with the result. They way I see it is that either team is just as likely to win, as loose.

Should be a cracker of a game & I pray the game is decided by the teams themselves & not an official.

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The first ten minutes will tell me if we can go on with it. As in all games we must be aware the five minutes before half time is when many teams win/lose games.

And let’s not forget Canberra beat Melbourne a few weeks ago in Melbourne after the Storm led 18-0 in the first half. It won’t be over until the hooter sounds.


A great read @TorAckmann

Here’s to a Rabbitohs win… one to remember


Great write up TA!

Great stuff Tor. You’ve got me believing!

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Great write up TA, you have got me chomping at the bit, I am exited !!!.

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Great write up, Go you mighty Rabbits!

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Gee Tor it is pretty comprehensive and loaded with emotion, great report.

I like everybody else hope we put two halves together in attack and defence and in Walker and Reynolds.

Just respect possession limit mistakes and don’t get stripped.

I have aged this year, watching Souths, I reckon it will go into extra time, the game just has that feel about it.

Souths to score the winning try in extra time.

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Hope Canberra get stage fright and we are up by 30 at half time


Fantastic write-up TA !

After that I’m so pumped I’ve got the socks on & boots laced up ready to run out to war!

Would be a dream come true for me and my family if we were to be in a second Grand Final in five years…

Go you good things !!!


So, Canberra players can’t get done for cannabis in their system cause it’s not an illegal substance in the Capital. :flushed:


Amen Tor…bring on the Faders!!!..SSTID!

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The best preview so far, a fantastic read and a well balanced view of the game. I also agree that the battle in the middle third will give us the edge and then the likes of Cook, Murray and Walker will get us home.


Awesome read. Well done, Tor.
I am a believer and know we will win tomorrow night; my waters are telling me so.
I’ll see you all at the game.