Team by Team Preview: 9th – South Sydney Rabbitohs

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Premiership Odds: (via betting.club): $15.00

Key Outs: Issac Luke, Chris McQueen, Glenn Stewart, Dylan Walker

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Key Ins: Sam Burgess, Hymel Hunt, Damien Cook

South Sydney fought bravely last season in an attempt to defend their 2014 NRL premiership, however petered out and were easy pray for the Sharks in the first week of the finals.

Adam Reynolds missed plenty of games through two separate injuries, while the side also struggled to find a replacement for Sam Burgess.

Fast forward to 2016 and the side has a very different look to 2014 with four huge outs, and one monster in via the return of arguably the best forward in the game.

Souths have taken a HUGE gamble on Sam Burgess, but given the way he drove the Bunnies in 2014, it’s one that they had to take. Will it pay off?

Key Player: Greg Inglis

At the end of 2015 one thing looked obvious regarding Greg Inglis, that he needed a break. The superstar number one has been on the go for many years carrying a huge workload for the Bunnies, Queensland and the Kangaroos.

With a rare complete offseason under his belt you can expect Greg Inglis to be back at his destructive best in 2016. When he is at his best there are few better in the game.

Inglis has been one of the best players of the modern era, and his move to fullback helped re-define the role.

Souths, having lost Walker and Luke, will be looking for Inglis to create plenty in attack. It’s something he’s had no trouble with in the past, and I’m not betting against the champion fullback to produce again in 2015.

Young Gun: Cameron McInnes

21 year-old Cameron McInnes looked as though he would be the number one in the Souths hooking role for many years to come following the departure of Issac Luke.

His 2015 season failed to reach any great heights but there is no doubting the talented number nine’s talent and potential.

Expected to play off the bench as recruit Damien Cook looks ready to take his place in the run on squad, McInnes will have a big part to play this season.

Given he will likely play in the later parts of the first half, he will be looked upon to take full advantage of those forwards who are unable to adapt to the reduced interchange.

Best Signing: Sam Burgess

As mentioned before, the Bunnies have put a lot of their eggs in the Sam Burgess basket, having lost the likes of Walker, Stewart, McQueen and Grant to welcome their English star back.

Although they may deny it, there isn’t a single side in the NRL that wouldn’t want Burgess in their 17 man squad each and every week.

He is a genuine superstar capable of busting defences open on the field and selling thousands of memberships off it.

Souths did what they had to do to ensure their most dominant star returned, however an injury or a below par season will lead to all sorts of questions being asked.

I don’t see the moves made as a gamble, it’s a move Souths had to make. That being said, they’ve really lost some talent in the process.

Strength: Genuine superstars capable of anything

Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess are two of the competition’s elite players and are capable of absolutely anything.

Alex Johnston, Adam Reynolds and George Burgess are all players capable of turning games very quickly, and the likes of Cook and Sutton are hardly ordinary players either.

All across the park Souths have game breakers. They’ll likely be dragged into plenty of arm wrestles this season, and it is players like those mentioned above who can win a game out of nowhere.

Adam Reynolds has been on the cusp of Origin selection for two or three seasons now, 2016 could be his year.

Weakness: Over reliance on said superstars

Souths fans won’t want to even consider it, but what if Sam Burgess or Greg Inglis suffer an injury or fail to hit top form right out of the gate?

The club has said goodbye to four genuine game breaking stars and despite the brilliant signing of Cook, looks a little weaker on paper than last season.

Goodwin, Auva’a and Gray failed to really make too much of an impact in 2015, with fans taking to social media to express their frustration.

Their forward pack looks strong but to make the eight they’ll need both remaining Burgess boys to play out of their skin.

Strongest 17:

1. Greg Inglis
2. Alex Johnston
3. Bryson Goodwin
4. Kirisome Auva’a
5. Aaron Gray
6. Luke Keary
7. Adam Reynolds
8. George Burgess
9. Damien Cook
10. Dave Tyrell
11. Chris Grevsmuhl
12. John Sutton
13. Sam Burgess

14. Tom Burgess
15. Jason Clark
16. Kyle Turner
17. Cameron McInnes

Prediction: 9th

Stop the presses!!! Someone has dared predict that South Sydney will not play finals football in 2015. I’m sure Souths fans will have plenty to say.

In all honesty, this side could very well chase a top four spot, however it’s hard to look past the amount of talent on their “out” list.

Suddenly their all-star backline doesn’t look quite so scary, while stories of Souths players wanting out just refuse to go away.

Truth be told I don’t look too much into rumours but Reynolds, Keary, Inglis and Goodwin have all been linked with a move out of the club in recent weeks.

If this side fires to its potential, I may well and truly rue this prediction. This is an impressive squad, but I believe there are now eight better sides in the competition.

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68 COMMENTS

  1. I think that is fair. I always had them as one of the teams mid table battling for a spot. That said, I do think they will make it. When you consider the likes of some of the teams you haven’t mentioned yet then there is a very strong possibility.

  2. That’s actually quite accurate prediction this is my ladder I’m just taking a guess hard to pick this year
    1. Broncos
    2. Cowboys
    3. Storm
    4. Warriors
    5. Manly
    6. Sharks
    7. Roosters
    8. Panthers
    9. Raiders
    10. Souths
    11. Eels
    12. Dragons
    13. Bulldogs
    14. Knights
    15. Titans
    16. Tigers
    Like I said it is really difficult to pick pretty much every team has a shot to make the 8 but I don’t know it’s out of Panthers , Raiders , Souths and Eels for the last spot in the 8 in my opinion

      • Panthers won’t finish in the 8 no way in hell. Raiders are in my top 8 for sure they have a good line up which will be hard to beat if Ricky gets them going

        • I reckon we could got Moylan , Whare , Merrin , Segyaro and more good proven players I think we can make the 8 but it’s really tight this year I really can’t pick it I agree with you on raiders but as I said it’s a rough guess it’s hard to pick

    • It looks like the dogs are under the radar again judging on most top eight predictions. Des will be happy. I may be biased but imo if Mybe fires I believe the dogs will walk into the eight and push for a top 4 spot. We have a great forward pack followed by exciting backs in Josh Morris, Brett Morris, Rona, Abbey (he won’t play this year due to age but he is insanely talented and will get a shot soon), Phillips (hopefully he plays instead of Perrett he offers ALOT more in attack and it wouldn’t be too hard to defend better than Perrett).

      • Yes, if Mybe fires you guys will easily make the 8. But the problem is Mybe wasn’t firing at halfback, and it is obvious to a lot of people that a combination of him and Josh Reynolds is not what you want. Ever since Hodkinson got injured you guys looked hopeless in attack, and a forward pack is meaningless without a decent halves pairing.

      • With a pre season under his belt he may finally be able to play like ‘the next thurston’ like they say he will.. i really hope he does.. we will miss Pritchard a lot.. he was by far our best player last year.. and if the refereeing this year is anywhere like last year we will lose every game Gerrard Sutton refs our games.

      • Dogs will be fine when Kasiano, tony Williams and graham let the actual halves run the game. When they actually stick to their game plan of just rolling through the middle of the field with their beastly forward pack they are capable of dominating any team on their day. Tip ons are fine but when the big guys are standing in the backline that’s how their attack stalls. Abbey is a good fullback prospect from our under 20’s in the Matt Moylan mould. He’s got a touch of class about him but needs to add some weight and speed to his frame.

  3. Agreed Souths struggled last season and they had lost there 9 in Luke who is one of the best in the business. And they have a very weak backline except Inglis and Johnston. So I see them struggling Sam Burgess can’t do everything

  4. Agree Souths to just miss out. Lost too many keys players and if rumours are true players not too happy with the coach.
    They will play a few blockbuster games but not be consistent

  5. I feel comfortable with this prediction although I would have liked Souths to be predicted as 8th, just to sound better.

    Sam won’t be able to do it all but he has two brothers who will be better than last year to help him. Inglis, Sutton, Reynolds an Johnston will also lend a hand.

    With the interchange being reduced this year I think that teams might find the going a bit harder. Souths have a couple of big-boppers, a few grinding forwards, and some running ball-playing forwards. Its in the centres we have a weakness.

    Souths had some money to try and get Roberts, but I think they may be holding back for someone to come onto the market. Who? I have no idea. Good luck to all teams.

    • good sportsmanship mate.. too much responsibility and expectations held on Sam.. i wonder if he’ll do good with all the pressure or crumble.. he is an awesome player..

  6. souths to bottom 4 with Newcastle gold coast and tigers my top 4 is NZ ,sharks ,cowboys and raiders luke will be missed by souths as dogs missed ennis its just my opinion and the rest to fight for the other 4 spots,

  7. Whilst focusing on each Clubs alleged player strength makes for interesting and lively debate, there are numerous other factors that most definitely have an impact on any Club’s performance during a season. Factors such as club management; coaching staff quality, experience and stability; respect of players for coaching staff and each other, willingness to play as a team, and SOO commitments and most importantly the Draw that each team is handed has a big impact on how each team will fare.
    Although the average punter may not have a grip on any of these factors — and so the focus falls purely on the faces in the playing squad – once things outside of the players themselves are actually considered the picture of who might finish where on the table tends to shift somewhat – IMO.

  8. The two best teams of 2015 had dynamic forwards who promoted the ball, great halves and top flight fullback. South Sydney failed last year because there forwards wernt dynamic, would not or could not pass the ball, ahalf combo that was very average and a fullback that was broken. 2016 will offer up a very different side.
    1.G Inglis
    2. A Johnstone
    3. A Gray
    4. H Hunt
    5. J Olive
    6. C Walker
    7. A Reynolds
    8. G Burgess
    9. D Cook
    10. Z Musgrove
    11. S Burgess
    12. J Sutton
    !3. K Turner

    14.T Burgess
    15. C Grevsmuhl
    16. P Carter
    17. A Crichton

    That side can make the top 4 in my opinion.

  9. Is it just me or is Johnstone way over rated. Reminds me on Nathan Merritt and when Preston Campbell played on the wing.
    Has speed, is a light weight avg defender, avg under the high ball and little to no ball skills.

    • Johnston is a good runner of the ball in attack, he’s not bad under the high ball, his defence improved a bit but still needs work. Don’t forget the blokes only just turned 21. He’s been doing better than some other players his age or younger and he will develop more skills as he gets older he’s just not a fullback. The blokes 95kg compared to 2014 where he was 89kg so he’s gained some size

  10. I reckon the safest bet in the nrl in 2016 is souths not to make the finals. They just dont have points in them. Inglis is guna get ganged up on and have a really quite season. I just cant see them scoring more than 18 points a game often. I can see them in the bottom 3

    • Big call hussell. Our forwards will be back to their brutal best next year.

      We have got young forwards who are just as good as the players we let go coming through. Nobody heard of Grevo before last year. Not many have heard of Chrichton and Musgrove or Whitelaw either but these young blokes have been in the system for a few years now and are raring to go.
      Any side that takes us lightly this year will end up with an awful hiding. When our forwards dominate we will have plenty in attack and plenty of points in us.

      • Liverrabbit, no doubt sam burgess will get tom and george especially back to there best. Wheres the points coming from mate? No centres outside inglis. Teams will just rush up on inglis and shut him down. No luke out of dummy half carving them up. Then it comes down to reynalds kicking game. If he is off, you will be beat by heaps. If he is on you when a few. I just think you guys are guna lose a heap of games by 8 points or less, because you dont have enough points in you

  11. We had the cash to have a go at getting Roberts and that was before we let go of grant. So we must have a little bi to play with.. as chalky said i think we are holding out for a class centre. I think Oldfield should replace Mcinnes and Cody Walker should replace Jason Clark on the bench. At least for a couple of rounds anyway….

  12. Interesting prediction and quite possible if we play like last year. However

    I believe Sam will drive the other forwards to new heights, especially his brothers!

    I think we will end up with a new 5/8 that better suits Renolds and will give Good ball to the backs

    This year we are looking to give some new backs a go, they will either go gang busters or will perform like last year.

    That being said we played pretty average last year and still made the eight so with a good offseason behind us unlike last year that didn’t stop, we have a genuine chance of surprising a lot of other teams.

    My prediction Bias of course is that we will make the eight at least, but time will tell. There are about 12 teams that look like they could make the eight this year so nothing would surprise me.

  13. A lot of sides are carrying big bopper forwards who are going to have to adapt to reduced interchange. I cant go past the broncos for a roster best equipped to take advantage of the new rules. Cowboys are basically the same side as last year so they will compete. The remaining teams have roster gaps and only good oaches will keep them compettiive but they wont beat Broncs or cows when it comes down to the pointy end.

  14. My predicted team list for the end of the year. I think possible Tyrrell while good may be replaced for guys with a bit more go forward. we will see his form was improving last year. possibly paul carter off the bench if cook cant last the 80mins but I thing teams will move away from running 2 hookers.

    1. Greg Inglis 105kg
    2. Michael Oldfield 95kg
    3. Kirisome Auva’a 100kg
    4. Hymel Hunt 99kg
    5. Alex Johnston 95kg
    6. Cody Walker 90kg
    7. Adam Renolds 85kg
    8. George Burgess 120kg
    9. Damien Cook 86kg
    10. Nathan Brown 107kg
    11. John Sutton 105kg
    12. Kyle Turner 105kg
    13. Sam Burgess 116kg

    14. Tom Burgess 120kg
    15. Angus Crichton 102kg
    16. Zane Musgrove 109kg
    17. Chris Gressmule 106kg

  15. Provided our big guns stay on the park we will make the 8. If we have a nice run with injury we will challenge for a top 4 berth.

  16. Ins: Sam Burgess, Damien Cook, Hymel Hunt, Michael Oldfield

    Outs: Tim Grant, Ben Lowe, Isaac Luke, Chris McQueen, Darren Nicholls, Glenn Stewart, Dylan Walker

    Recruitment Rating D+, Sam Burgess is their only major signing. The other signings arent really going to be first grade (besides cook). And they have lost a lot of talent in Luke, McQueen, Stewart, Walker and Grant. I just don’t think Sam Burgess makes up for all them.

    Go To Man: Greg Inglis, arguably their best player (some might say Burgess). He is solid and even when he has a bad game can always produce something good.

    Under Pressure: Sam Burgess, has came back after being an inspiration in the GF in 2014. Can he reach thise heights again or have the rabbits paid too much?

    Best Youngster: Cameron McInnes, should play well for the rabbitohs with the reduced interchange. Very handy for a rabbitohs outfit with an Isaac Luke shaped hole in the number 9.

    Predicted Finish: 10th

    Best 17:
    Inglis
    Johnston
    Goodwin
    Auva’a
    Gray
    Keary
    Reynolds
    G Burgess
    Cook
    T Burgess
    Sutton
    Turner
    S Burgess
    McInnes
    Tyrrell
    Grevsmuhl
    Brown

    Let the rabbits fans comments on how much of an idiot i am begin.

    • trollz878 how can you rate recruitment just based on who came in. You also have to look at who is there stepping up. We lost Tim Grant, Ben Lowe, Isaac Luke, Chris McQueen, Darren Nicholls, Glenn Stewart, Dylan Walker

      Grant was average front row and we have Nathan Brown 107kg, Zane Musgrove 109kg to take his place

      Nicholls didn’t play, lowe hardly played, Mcqueen tried to be burgess but his work rate was way to low, Stewart was a great tackler but that’s it. Burgess upgrades one of them and there are other boys ready to step up in their place like Jason Clark, Angus Crichton, Cheyne Whitelaw and Gresmule.

      I loved Luke but you could see he was ready to go home and would loose focus during games. Cameron Mcinnes had a go to replace him but cook showed he should be the starting hooker last year and we also have Paul Carter 98kg if we have to play 2 hookers who can also play second row.

      Walker was the biggest loss but could easily be filled by Michael Oldfield95kg, Aaron Gray 95kg, Hymel Hunt 99kg, John Olive 95kg, Tom Hughes 96kg.

      your ratings should be alittle deeper and Mcinnes definatly is not our best youngster!

      • Sorry but i havent seen much of olive, hughes, critchon or whitelaw. Thats why i didnt say any of them. Good point about guys going to step up but i just dont believe that they will fill the holes of the people who have left this season. They might in a few seasons time but a review is only based on this season. And i dont believe that walker can be easily replaced by oldfield, hunt, gray, olive or hughes. Then again thats just my opinion.

    • trollz878 you are fairly close to the mark with your comments and there is not much difference with your prediction of 10th and ZT’s prediction of 9th. Most teams have had major surgery on their lists so the way I see it is that very few predictions can be made with any certainty except those with bias to their clubs.

      Its great to have champions in your team but can you boast a champion team? I know I can’t with mine or any other team. We will see.

      • True but its only my opinion. My opinion might be way of the mark or it might be spot on. We wont know until the end of the season. But im just stating my opinion and i thought that was the point of commenting here.

  17. The side will be

    GI
    Oldfield
    Olive/Gray/Goodwin/Hunt
    Auva’a
    Johnston
    Keary/walker
    Reynolds
    Gurgess
    McInnes
    Tyrrell
    Sutton
    Turner
    Burgess

    Cook
    Carter
    Grevo/Clark
    Turgess

    If we find a steady right centre in the ranks we will be sweet.

  18. Isaac Luke will be buy ofn the season for Warriors and Walker takes away strike power out wide. BUT i think its obvious GI hasnt been 100% for a long time. Bunnies went virtually a year without Isaac luke anyway but Grevsmuhl needs more game time and GI will have his best season yet, I dont think Burgess was worth losing Walker and if i were Madge and Crowe i would have got rid of Mcqueen ages ago along with Sutton who seems confused as to whether hes a forward or a half and tries to over rule Keary but i think Burgess returning should lift the George and Tom and allow the pack some go fourth Souths will make the 8

  19. mcinnes is incredibly average, in the times luke was missing from injury he couldn’t step up. Lacks any positive traits for a #9 basically a nameless person who makes tackles and shovels the ball from dummy half only, if I got into shape from the fat beast I am i’ll miss less tackles and have more try assists than him.

    I feel bad for taking such a shot at him but just because your a young player does not mean, you will eventually be good. Damien Cook showed some really good skills stepping up into lichaa’s spot… shouldbe a really good player.

    • Dez1 I agree about Mcinnes not stepping up last year and cook did in the few games he had. He will be the starting hooker.

  20. Matty Johns Just tipped SOUTHS to finish 4th.
    I respect HIS opinion far more than the comments above by you KEYBOARD COWBOYS!

    Matty Johns’ Likely Top 8
    Broncos, Cowboys, Roosters, Rabbitohs, Storm, Sharks, Bulldogs and Dragons

    Sides That Will Improve And Push Top 8
    Manly, Parramatta, Raiders, Panthers and Warriors}

    Sides That Won’t Make Top 8
    Knights, Titans and Wests Tigers

    Read it for yourself.
    http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/sport/nrl/news/2016/1/matty-johns-names-top-8-and-who-will-miss-out/

    • I have been contributing on this site for years and you, 3HATS, are by far, and this is a massive achievement, the most annoying poster I have ever seen.

      You belittle anyone else’s opinion, if it even slightly has a negative slight on Souths. How dare anyone predict that Souths will struggle or miss the 8. You constantly make predictions and pretend you have inside knowledge, again belittling other contributors, who dare disagree with you, then make excuses when you are wrong.

      When even, resident Souths nuts, and there are a few on here, think you are a fool maybe it is time to go back to your facebook page and spare us, open minded RL fans, your dribble.

  21. souths and bulldogs fans got it lucky they aren’t expected to be top teams this year. manly parradontmata broncos warriors sharks cowboys all have expectations by fans if they don’t perform u can bet the guys on here will let them know it 😉

  22. Isn’t Matty johns top 8 the same 8 that made the finals this year? If so whoopi anyone could pick that. And no way it will happen either. I wonder if it has ever happened in the modern era? Where’s Dave Middleton when you need him lol.

    • The last time all the same teams from one year made the finals the next year was 1994/1995. That said they went from a top 5 to a top in 1995.

      The only other one that I know of where the finals format was the same for both years was 1975/6. In 1975, East, St George, Canterbury, Manly and Parramatta (winning a playoff against West and Balmain for 5th) all made the finals. The same teams made up the top 5 again in 1976.

      Who needs David Middleton?

  23. Rabbits 19th……. Russell r%ted miss Burgess, now Burgess 2 r%t the rabbits cap . Yea lucky 2 b in the league.

  24. Hi all, new to site. Been reading. Really like Chalkie’s comments. Question is , what chance the bunnies signing Dane Nielson?

        • I don’t want to bag a bloke who has played Origin and first grade because that is better than any of us, however the only reason he played Origin was because of injury and he was playing for Melbourne and slotted in easily, with limited preparation, with QLD’s Melbourne based players. He is nowhere near an origin quality player and IMO barely 1st grade quality. Combined with, from many reports, an attitude problem, there is a reason he is not in great demand.

  25. In my honest and unpredictable opinion I believe the Rabbits will really struggle this year.
    GI, although a great player, is getting on in age now and has had knee issues over the last couple of seasons.
    Sam B, has had a year off playing rugby, it may take him awhile to find his fitness, timing and desire, which may be too late in the season for the Bunnies.

    I think the lose of Luke will hit harder than anyone realizes.

    So, my unpredictable prediction is 11th.

  26. Top 4 easy. Cook will do what Issac Luke, and Adonis Reynolds couldn’t do in 2015…organise the attack in the 20m zone. Souths got rid of the deadwood…Stewart, Grant, and McQueen. Walker is the only loss, but some of the young players will step up just like they did in 2014. Issac Luke was detrimental to the teams success.

    • I disagree. I think many of the good things that happen for Souths feed off Luke’s energy and competitiveness.

      • Nothing better than seeing Issac make a break from dummy half, great defender, tough, a superstar! But I think he ran on his own too often, looking for the penalty, or the break, when he had players like Walker, Inglis, Johnston in the backline, and the opposition going backward. When Api came in to the 2014 Grand Final side the team didn’t miss a beat. Issac wasn’t missed. Issac is a great runner of the ball, but not a good organiser, and South’s attack in the 20m zone has suffered because Issac, and Reynolds, for whatever reason can’t seem to organise options. I’m eagerly waiting to see how Cook goes…hoping he has options, with his speed.

  27. Rabbitohs and roosters have had their chances both picked up a premiership now they head to the bottom of the table has-beens they are called

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