Its been 41 lonely old years for the South Sydney Rabbitohs. 41 years without the sweet taste of premiership success. But through the shadows of anonymity has come a new class of Rabbit. Is 2012 finally the year we see the red and green back at the big dance?
In 1971 Robert Askin was the Premier of New South Wales, Australian troops were pulled from the Vietnam War and Silver Knight won the Melbourne Cup.
Like time tends to do, it changes.
In an age where coaches are as disposable as a used tissue, one man deserves some credit. Michael Maguire has turned Souths around so drastically, the Redfern club are now one of the heavyweights of the National Rugby League.
But don’t be fooled by the glossy skin of this team. Maguire knows the road ahead is still long and treacherous.
That doesn’t mean we cant acknowledge Maguire as the greatest thing to happen to this proud club in over four decades.
The Rabbitohs are the most successful rugby league team this country has ever seen. Yet their last grand final victory came in ’71. At the time they were the pinnacle of greatness in Sydney, winning their fourth premiership in five years.
It was truly a great time for South Sydney. Little did they know the starvation to follow.
Channel 9 commentator Phil Gould even called this Souths side the greatest he had seen in 50 years.
“It’s been a long time for Souths fans. We’ve had the team over the past few years but haven’t delivered” hooker Nathan Peats told the media on Monday.
“(But) we’re not getting too complacent.
“That’s a good wrap to get Phil Gould saying things like that but I think (coach Michael Maguire) said (on Sunday) that he’s not that old (to remember those teams) – and I’m not that old.
“So I don’t know how good the Souths teams were back then.
“But I know Bob McCarthy and that’s a good wrap because he is one of the legends of South Sydney.
“In saying that we have got a pretty good team and I think everyone’s injury free. We haven’t been in that position for a long time.”
On the back of some Rabbitohs’ player apparel is the saying, ’Sons of Glory’.
We’ll soon find out if they are truly part of this historic family.