PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10: Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs runs the ball during the round one NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Perth Stadium on March 10, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

With under a week to go until the NRL kicks off, we lay down an extended preview for each club. Below is a look at the highly fancied Bunnies.

Ins: Latrell Mitchell (Roosters), Bryson Goodwin (Warrington), Troy Dargan (Broncos), Steven Marsters (Dragons), Patrick Mago (Broncos), Joshua Cook, Dean Hawkins, Keaon Kolomatangi, Ky Rodwell (upgraded from development contracts)

Outs: John Sutton, Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess (retired), George Burgess (Wigan), Dean Britt (Bulldogs), Connor Tracey (Sharks), Billy Brittain (Dragons), Mawene Hiroti (Sharks), Adam Doueihi (Tigers), Kyle Turner, Jacob Gagan (released)

2019 Season:

For a second straight season the Rabbitohs made it all the way to the preliminary final, only to be beaten out. This despite losing Greg Inglis with barely impact on the 2019 season.

Cook and Walker started the season breathing fire, earning Origin call ups, while Adam Reynolds seemed to improve as the season went on. He shook off injury concerns to lead his team to within a game of the deicder.

Campbell Graham and Braidon Burns became big time players in the Bunnies set up, while James Roberts joined the outrageously talented backline.

Cameron Murray continued his incredible rise to rep footy while Luke Knight announced himself as a genuine run on first grader. Yes they fell short of a title, but it was a ripper of a season.

Predicted Best Player: Damien Cook

For those who expected to see Latrell Mitchell here, see recruitment impact.

Damien Cook copped a fair amount of flack for an ordinary performance in the preliminary final last year. Although he didn’t live up to his lofty expectations, his 2019 season was downright incredible.

He was one of the form players of the competition across the early rounds and overall I believe he has become the elite number nine in the code.

The balance of the Bunnies side changes in 2020 with no Burgess or Sutton leading the way, but Cook is more than up to guiding a new look forward pack around.

I expect Cook to start the season in similar fashion to last season and possibly even lead the Dally M count early on, although I’d be shocked if he didn’t improve on his post-season for this year.

Predicted Top Scorer: Campbell Graham

Given the amount of talent in the halves and centres, as well as newly minted fullback Latrell Mitchell, I expect young Campbell Graham to possibly double his current NRL try tally in 2020.

Having scored 21 tries in 48 games, the 20 year-old has certainly shown he knows his way to the line. He and Dane Gagai should see some serious opportunities at alarming regularity being on the end of a potent back line.

He debuted for Australia in last year’s 9’s tournament and showed he can mix it with the international stars. That should only benefit his confidence entering the new season.

I expect somewhere around 16-18 tries for the 6 foot 6 winger in 2020.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 04: Campbell Graham of the Rabbitohs runs the ball during the round 22 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Sydney Cricket Ground on August 4, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Recruitment Impact:

The fortunes of the Bunnies completely turned on the day they officially announced the signing of Latrell Mitchell who will take over fullback duties for the red and greens.

Mago is a clever addition and Goodwin ads experience in the back depth but you can’t go past the Mitchell signing as the biggest across the entire competition.

Arguably the game’s best centre has gone looking for more ball and more impact. Although it will take time for him to adjust to the positioning of his new role, but I have no doubt this will be positive shift.

If Latrell can hit the ground running he could take the Bunnies that step further and put the side in a position to send Wayne Bennett out with yet another title.

2020 Final Position: 3rd

Souths have lost some major stars in Burgess and Inglis but have a side capable of going even further this season.

Mitchell is a huge in, but it’s the existing members of the spine who are absolutely key.

On his day no other number nine can match what Cook can produce. The Origin quality halves should provide a mountain of opportunities for their backs.

Wayne Bennett has announced his intentions to hand over at the end of their 2020 campaign and his players will want to send him out a winner.

Given the ridiculous talent in this side, they very might do that.

1 COMMENT

  1. Dud team, Dud players, Dud coach Dud club full of transit.lounge discarded rejects. Including the coach.

  2. ……oh……almost forgot. Nit.wit fanes like Chalky🤡, TwentyBumm🤓, Penis0🤡 and co………🤓🤡🤓!!!!

  3. if souffs sidney stopped selling memberships to the supporters dogs and cats – their member numbers would be under 20k
    souff sidney supporters should stfu until they win something. there are too many rabbit stories in zt.

  4. I think TwentBumm, Chalky and Penis0 buy up all the memberships and hand them out in the slums of Rabbitoes land.

  5. Because last season the home crowds for soufths was way down on the Roosters average. Nobody cares to go watch them out in Sydneys West at night. To many arabs with backpacks at Auburn/Lidcombe

  6. The despair, humiliation and meltdown of Latrell coming home to Souths makes for very entertaining reading on here and the Sookpen.
    Welcome home Latts.
    Souths pushing 30,000 memberships with the club reporting revenue of around $4.2m from this unlike the Sydney Roosters as a result of ongoing dismal membership rely heavily on poker machine revenue from its addicted club members.
    Might explain the thriving cash converters located across the road from their club. Very, very sad.

  7. Latrell is looking forward to playing in front of a majority home crowd instead of opposition fans for the first time in the NRL and hearing loud cheers and celebrations instead of muffed groans and a few distant claps after scoring.
    Welcome home Latts, great to see you finally happy.

  8. All useful comments from AdamOfDimWood, as per usual.
    South’s backline looks to be one of the best. Let’s see how the forwards go over the whole season.
    They’ll be in the mix again.

  9. EastOfDivideMarch 11, 2020 at 11:10 am

    All useful comments from AdamHoward, as per usual.

    🤣🎣🤣🎣🤣

    Finally you wrote something Factual ClownOfPenriff.

  10. TwentyOne March 11, 2020 at 11:08 am
    Latrell is looking forward ……

    if he puts on any more weight, he will be one, God knows, the don’t have any ….

  11. The crooked South Sydney Stain with their bottomless pit of billionaires money and Nana Glenn paper bags will no doubt win the comp this year.

    Maybe then they will be remembered for winning something Other than a 4 team Nsw cup competition 😂

    I cannot hide my Disdain for the South Sydney Stain

  12. Truely this South Sydney team is way overrated in my opinion. Good backs
    If they could not hold teams with their forwards in 2018, when their forwards were at their peak. Then this pack of inexperienced players have little to look forward to this season.

    Those Burgess boys in 2018 where formidable. Now two have departed while club legend Sutton has retired. Sorry but South Sydney will definatly not make the top four. Manly, Parra, Canberra, Sydney & Melbourne have much stronger forwards with More depth than the Rabbitohs.
    I think Souths will finish between 9th & 6th.