SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 05: The Rabbitohs celebrate victory during the 2014 NRL Grand Final match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on October 5, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Sam Burgess has stated the 2018 South Sydney Rabbitohs team is better than the 2014 premiership winning side.

Due to the success the Rabbits are enjoying in the 2018 season, sitting on top of the ladder after 18 rounds with 13 wins, comparisons are starting to be drawn between this side and the 2014 team which broke the 43-year premiership draught at Redfern.

Burgess declared to foxsports.com.au earlier in the week he thinks the side is playing a higher quality of football this year compared to four years ago.

“Some of the shape that we’re throwing and the combinations we’ve got going at the moment are probably better than what we had in 2014,” Burgess said.

“But that’s probably a reflection of the competition as well. Everyone improves year-in and year-out and adapts with the times.

“Whether that means we’re going to do the same thing as 2014, that’s a different story. The competition is completely different. We understand that.”

We at Zero Tackle have decided to compare the two teams side by side to see whether Burgess has a point.

The 2014 Rabbitohs finished the regular season in 3rd place on the ladder, with 15 wins and nine losses for the season, leaving the 2018 Rabbitohs to win three more games in seven rounds to surpass in 2014 team.

Below is the 17 players who took the field in the 2014 grand final and their stats for that year.

  1. Greg Inglis – 13 tries, 16 try assists, 18 line breaks, 104 tackle breaks, 121 tackles made at 82.17%, 1664 kick return metres, total of 3,999 running metres.
  2. Alex Johnston – 21 tries, 2 try assists, 21 line breaks, 93 tackles made at 85.41%, 1843 total running metres, 425 kick return metres.
  3. Dylan Walker – 12 tries, 14 try assists, 14 line breaks, 452 kicking metres, 341 tackles made at 84.76%, 2919 total running metres, 55 kick return metres
  4. Kirisome Auva’a – 9 tries, 7 try assists, 10 line breaks, 275 tackles made at 84.87%, 2221 total running metres, 43 kick return metres.
  5. Lote Tuqiri – 7 tries, 7 line breaks.
  6. Luke Keary – 3 tries, 7 try assists, 884 kicking metres, 4 offloads, 196 tackles made, 520 total running metres, 61 kick return metres.
  7. Adam Reynolds – 7 tries, 17 try assists, 95 goals at 79.17%, 3 field goals, 8,629 kicking metres, 301 total kicks, 548 tackles made, 949 total running metres,.
  8. George Burgess – 3 tries, 75 tackle breaks, 1374 post contact metres, 9 offloads, 631 tackles made, 3505 total running metres, 629 kick return metres.
  9. Apisai Koroisau – 1 try, 2 try assists, 52 kicking metres, 2 offloads, 352 tackles made, 648 total running metres.
  10. Dave Tyrrell – 2 tries, 583 tackles made, 191 hit ups, 1409 running metres
  11. Ben Te’o – 2 tries.
  12. John Sutton (c) – 1 try, 539 kick metres, 4 line breaks, 23 offloads, 455 tackles made, 1844 total running metres, 75 kick return metres.
  13. Sam Burgess – 10 tries, 66 tackle breaks,  1722 post contact metres, 61 offloads, 914 tackles made, 523 runs with a total of 4639 running metres.
    Interchange
  14. Jason Clark – 2 tries, 16 tackle breaks, 3 offloads, 492 post contact metres, 405 tackles made, 1,440 total running metres, 143 kick return metres.
  15. Kyle Turner – 6 tries, 7 line breaks, 1 offloads, 583 tackles made, 1,206 total running metres, 31 kick return metres.
  16. Chris McQueen – 4 tries, 6 line breaks, 9 offloads, 373 tackles made, 1,483 total running metres, 39 kick return metres.
  17. Thomas Burgess – 1 try, 13 tackle breaks, 965 post contact metres, 2 offloads, 359 tackles made, 2,325 total running metres, 298 kick return metres.
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Here is the 2018 South Sydney Rabbitohs team, the main stayers not affected by origin or injury.

  1. Alex Johnston – 15 appearances, 6 tries, 9 try assists, 34 tackle breaks, 12 line breaks, 92 tackles made at 83.8%, 1494 total running metres.
  2. Campbell Graham – 8 appearances, 4 tries, 1 try assist, 8 tackle breaks, 5 line breaks, 61 tackles made at 76.3%, 910 total running metres.
  3. Greg Inglis – 14 appearances, 7 tries, 6 try assists, 33 tackle breaks, 6 line breaks, 123 tackles made at 83.1%, 1727 total running metres.
  4. Dane Gagai – 15 appearances, 1 try, 6 try assists, 50 tackle breaks, 2 line breaks, 254 tackles made at 80.8%, 1669 total running metres.
  5. Robert Jennings – 15 appearances, 16 tries, 2 try assists, 48 tackle breaks, 12 line breaks, 38 tackles made at 70.6%, 1915 total running metres.
  6. Cody Walker – 17 appearances, 9 tries, 9 try assists, 11 line break assists, 46.6 average kicking metres, 15 offloads, 287 tackles made at 83.9%, 1215 total running metres.
  7. Adam Reynolds – 14 appearances, 2 tries, 59 goals, 8 try assists, 6 line break assists, 379.1 average kicking metres, 5 offloads, 542 total running metres.
  8. Thomas Burgess – 4 tries, 37 tackle breaks, 702.8 post contact metres, 9.6 average hit ups, 370 tackles made at 89.3%, 1894 total running metres.
  9. Damien Cook – 15 appearances, 3 tries, 4 try assists, 5 line break assists, 15 offloads, 19.6 average kicking metres, 657 tackles made at 90.6%, 1596 total running metres.
  10. George Burgess – 17 appearances, 2 tries, 25 tackle breaks, 587.1 post contact metres, 6.7 average hit ups, 2 offloads, 387 tackles made at 87.9%, 1628 total running metres.
  11. John Sutton – 17 appearances, 3 tries, 4 line breaks, 3 line break assists, 12 offloads, 445 tackles made at 91.5%, 1828 total running metres.
  12. Angus Crichton – 15 appearances, 2 tries, 4 line breaks, 4 line break assists, 24 offloads, 516 tackles made at 89.8%, 1931 total running metres.
  13. Sam Burgess – 13 appearances, 22 tackle breaks, 661.5 post contact metres, 14.2 average hit ups, 29 offloads, 395 tackles made at 86.9%, 1928 total running metres.
  14. Jason Clark – 12 appearances, 1 try, 8 tackle breaks, 223.5 post contact metres, 5.8 average hit ups, 11 offloads, 199 tackles made at 90.3%, 663 total running metres.
  15. Tevita Tatola – 17 appearances, 10 tackle breaks, 429.1 post contact metres, 5.8 average hit ups, 2 offloads, 310 tackles made at 92.8%, 1131 total running metres.
  16. Cameron Murray – 15 appearances, 1 try, 20 tackle breaks, 397.1 post contact metres, 8.7 average hit ups, 11 offloads, 491 tackles made at 92.1%, 1338 total running metres.
  17. Adam Doueihi – 12 appearances, 1 try, 1 try assist, 9 goals at 60% conversion rate, 65.4 average kicking metres, 2 line break assists, 6 offloads, 106 tackles made at 70.4%, 643 total running metres.
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Each 2014 and 2018 have a different makeup of the team and are playing a different brand of footy, but Sam Burgess maybe on to something regarding his statement.

10 COMMENTS

  1. If Sam says they are stronger then he should know – he is out in the middle each week and played in both sides. Its too hard for me as a Souths supporter to judge because I can only watch like all of the other contributors to this site.

    The 2014 team won the Grand Final, the current team has won nothing yet but are on top of the league ladder. Let’s wait and see.

  2. I’d say the difference between those sides is depth. The Rabbitohs would trust Doueihi, Kennar, Fuimaono, Clark, Nicholls, Burns or Farah (now McIllwrick) to cover any injuries.
    All they had in 2014 was Champion, Turner and McQueen.

  3. NO, 4 extremely lucky wins has them sitting on top but they have lost 4 games against top eight teams from 8 matches. I think the Souths team of 2014 was much smarter and much faster than this version.

    My prediction: Minor Premiers but will struggle to make the grand final.💋

  4. I’m not sure if Souths are better, but I think they have a more experienced and better balanced side than the rest of the teams in 2018. Storm are only just winning, Dragons are on a slide, Warriors will panic and the Broncos are struggling. I see Sharks and Roosters being the main challenges for the title this year with Souths.

  5. They certainly are the healthiest they’ve been at since 2014. Reynolds was taken out in that game by Graham and has had knee issues since and I think it was the following season or the one after that that Inglis did his knee.

  6. 4 extremely lucky wins against Cowboys x2, Canterbury and the Titans has them sitting on top but they have lost 4 games against the top eight teams from 8 matches. That is a 50% strike rate against fellow premiership contenders. I think the Souths team of 2014 was much smarter, tougher and much faster than this version.
    My prediction: Minor Premiers but will struggle to make the grand final in 2018.😎

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