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The South Sydney 2014 season told through my post-match Facebook status updates

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southsfacebook3If you’re my friend on Facebook you’ll see two things from me – lots of stories about the latest consumer tech and lots of status updates about my beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Many of my Facebook friends have commented – either on Facebook or when they see me in person – that they look forward to my post match summary after every Souths match.

Well I’ve gone back and compiled every post-match Facebook report from Round 1 and all the way through to last night’s drought-breaking Grand Final victory over the Bulldogs.

Through my eyes my Facebook friends have read about the team’s ups and downs, losses and triumphs.

So here – for my patient, positive and passionate Facebook friends – is the 2014 South Sydney season through my Facebook updates.

WHAT A SOUTH SYDNEY GRAND FINAL MEANS TO ME – AND WHY TECH GUIDE IS RED AND GREEN

Round 1

6th Match v Roosters at ANZ Stadium – Souths 28- Roosters 8

Now that’s what I call a great start to the season!! Running over the top of the Roosters Premiers. Next week – revenge over Manly who shattered our grand final dream in 2013. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!!

Round 2

14th March V Manly at Bluetongue Stadium – Manly 14-Souths 10

Souths never got out of first gear, they were outplayed in the halves and out wide, put pressure on themselves with mistakes and their attack lacked imagination. Manly showed they are a class outfit – despite their annoying tendency to complain to the ref about everything – and did well without their stars. For a team pegged as favourites to win the comp, Souths sure as hell have a lot of work to do. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!

The South Sydney Rabbitohs - 2014 Premiers
The South Sydney Rabbitohs – 2014 Premiers

Round 3

21st March v Tigers at ANZ Stadium – Wests Tigers 25 Souths 16

What the hell is wrong with our team? That performance against the Tigers was nothing short of embarrassing. Souths were rudderless in attack and struggled to hold the ball. And to top it off half the team is on report. Funny thing is no one gave the Tigers a chance before the game – except the Tigers. If that’s our best it’s going to be a long year. It will take a lot of courage to come back from this – I hope they can dig deep and find it. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!

Round 4

30th March v Canberra at ANZ Stadium – Canberra 30 Souths 18

Souths supporters deserve an explanation why the team that was one win off a grand final last year in 2014 looks like they have no teamwork, no leadership, no passion and no discipline.That was an embarrassing display that will raise a lot of questions into why the team is not producing on the field. That was also the first time since McGuire took over as coach that the team has lost three straight. I want to know why……

Round 5

5th April v Dragons at the SCG – Souths 26 Dragons 6

Now that’s more like it!! That was the Souths of old we saw tonight. Solid in attack and defence and playing well as a team. We’re back baby!! Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!

Round 6

11th April v Penrith at Panthers Stadium – Souths 18 Penrith 2

What a memorable victory from Souths tonight over a tenacious Panthers side. Their defence was flawless despite Penrith’s constant repeat attacks on our try line. Two of our debutantes also scored tries which shows there’s talent coming through. Souths showed real maturity and discipline in difficult conditions. We’ve found our mojo again – true red and green spirit was on display. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!

Round 7

18th April v Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium – Bulldogs 15 Souths 14

What a heartbreaking loss!! Souths played well in an intense match but even a single mistake can be costly at this level. Bulldogs did well to fight their way back in to the game and scored their second one-point win in a row. Souths have got their work cut out for them to come back from this demoralising loss. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!

One of my many South Sydney Facebook updates

Round 8

25th April v Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium – Souths 28 Brisbane 26

It was ugly but it was a win. After Souths’ red hot start I thought I was in for a night where my heart rate wouldn’t get above 60. By the end of the first half it was beating like I’d run a marathon. Despite the narrow victory, Souths still have a few areas to work on. They seemed to lose their way and their focus in the middle part of the game but good to see they could regroup and fight back for a narrow win. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!

Round 9

10th May v Titans at Cbus Super Stadium – Souths 40 Titans 18

Glory glory to South Sydney!! Great to see Souths can score 40 points against one of the leading teams in the 2014 NRL competition. And that was even with three disallowed tries. Encouraging to see that the young players were the stars of the show. Bring on the Storm on Friday night. Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!!

Round 10

16th May v Storm at ANZ Stadium – Storm 27 Souths 14

You can’t make that many mistakes and expect to beat a team like Melbourne. Souths coughed up the ball on the second tackle of the game and were knocked off balance. Same thing happened against the Tigers and the Raiders – two games we lost convincingly. Souths were their own worst enemy tonight. There were a couple of flashes of good football but it’s an 80 minute game and unfortunately we couldn’t match the Storm’s intensity.

Round 11

26th May v Cronulla at Remondis Stadium Souths 18 Sharks 0

Souths ground out a no-frills 18-0 win tonight against a determined Cronulla side. Nothing fancy but it was Souths defence that was the winner and, amazingly, the first time since they’ve kept a team scoreless since 1999. A highlight was the first try in first grade to young gun Cameron McInnes who hails from my own junior club the Botany Rams. The first of many, many more in a long career in the red and green. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!

Round 12

2 June v Dragons at ANZ Stadium – Souths 29 Dragons 10

Great to wake up here in San Francisco to the news that Souths slayed the Dragons to move into the top four. If you listen closely you might just hear me from where you are chanting: Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!

Round 13

8th June v New Zealand Warriors – Souths 34 Warriors 18

Souths showed a lot of character tonight to come back from 14-6 down to win 34-18. And that was after losing two players to injury including Greg Inglis. But the rest of the players stepped up and completed the job against an unpredictable Warriors team. A memorable win after a memorable effort and excellent teamwork. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!

Round 14

13th June v Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium Souths 32 Wests Tigers 10

Another great win for Souths – a solid performance against the Wests Tigers. That’s six wins in the last seven games and now we have next week off with a bye. The team is playing consistently well despite the injuries and players missing on Origin duty. I’ve got huge hopes for the second half of the season and the business end of the year. Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!!

South Sydney celebrates a Ben T'eo try

Round 15 – Bye

Round 16

28th June v North Qld Cowboys at 1300 Smiles Stadium – Cowboys 20 Souths 18

Souths lost that game against the Cowboys in the first 10 minutes. And that’s not the first time they’ve lost after a rough start. They got frustrated, made mistakes and couldn’t get their groove back. They played a better second half but the damage was already done and the Cowboys weren’t just going to throw in the towel. They say you learn more from a loss – well after that they could write a book! Time to get the red and green passion back. Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!

 

Round 17

7th July v Titans at ANZ Stadium – Titans 14 Souths 10

I feel embarrassed as a Souths supporter after that performance and I hope the players feel the same way. I kept waiting for the team to snap out of it but nothing happened. Mistakes, silly and unimaginative play, a lack of leadership and direction and what looked like a lack of energy is what the fans got. And that was against the Titans with their Origin stars out – imagine what Melbourne or Manly would have done to us playing like that. I think the time has come for the coach to make some hard decisions. After a game like that – the dream of winning the competition is nothing but a fantasy. For God’s sake – wake up Rabbitohs!!

Round 18 – Bye

Round 19

18th July v Parramatta at Pirtek Stadium – Souths 32 Parramatta 12

Great to see Souths back in the winners circle but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. There was a little bit more organisation and direction with set plays that resulted in tries. But they can’t get ahead of themselves. Teams don’t win the competition in July so hopefully this is the start of a solid run to peak in time for the semi-finals. I can hear the chant starting again……. Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!!!

Round 20

28th July v Canberra at GIO Stadium – Souths 34 Canberra 18

Convincing win from Souths tonight over the Raiders. Another level of improvement this week led by Adam Reynolds who answered his critics with a standout performance. It’s a shame he missed all of those kicks from the sideline, but in the end it was still a win to be proud of and one the team can build on. Bad news about our skipper John Sutton being injured but it’s nice to have a player like Luke Keary there to take his place. We’re now second on the ladder and gearing up for a powerful run home to the semi-finals. Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!!

Round 21

3rd August v Newcastle at Barlow Park – Souths 50 Newcastle 10

That was an amazing performance by Souths today. Yet another level of improvement following a worrying flat spell a few weeks ago. But like a mechanic who hears a knock in the engine, the team has methodically fixed the problems and is now firing on all cylinders. With that level of creativity, commitment, depth and passion they showed today they can beat any team. Another step on the path to glory. And watch out Manly – you’re next! Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!!

Round 22

8th August v Manly at the SCG – Souths 23 Manly 4

What a night!!! Watching this Souths victory with a group of life-long friends who have worn the red and green was amazing. The only thing predictable about that win over Manly was how strong Souths were in attack and defence. This proves this team is the real deal and we’re still seeing improvement each week. Do we dare to dream? Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!

Round 23

14th August v Brisbane at ANZ Stadium – Souths 42 Brisbane 16

Another emphatic win by Souths this week over the Broncos. The team has racked up another high score which shows their attack has found another gear since that dreadful loss to the Titans. But a few mistakes crept into the game tonight and they can’t afford to give teams any chances this close to the finals. But it’s still another step closer to the dream. Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!!

Round 24

23rd August v Cowboys at ANZ Stadium – Cowboys 22 Souths 10

After so many Souths wins our expectations rise with each one and sadly tonight they couldn’t meet them. When you don’t do the simple things right, when you drop the ball, give away silly penalties and your kicking game is off, then you’re hard pressed to beat anyone. And to see these creep back into their game at this stage of the season is a worry. Cowboys meant business tonight and they got the result. Hopefully the team can get back on track and win the games that count at the end of the season. Until then we can only say: Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!

Round 25

28th August v Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium – Souths 21 Bulldogs 14

If that game is ever turned into a movie it would be called The Great Escape. Yes, Souths showed a lot of courage late in the game and withstood a lot of pressure to claim victory. But that was after a truly forgettable first half littered with poor decisions, sloppy handling and frustrating errors. Add to that the relentless Bulldogs forward pack that was making ground at will and we knew we had a serious contest on our hands. The composure they showed in the last third of the game was the difference between us walking off losers and celebrating this victory. It was an ugly win but the two points looks just the same on the competition ladder which Souths now leads. Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!

South Sydney fullback Greg Inglis and his famous goanna post-try celebration

Round 26

4th September v Roosters at Allianz Stadium – Roosters 22 Souths 18

Can’t help but feel that might have been a different result without the Roosters scoring their first try off a knock on and our player being unfairly sin-binned for 10 minutes. Bloody joke. That was when the damage was done. The last thing the ref said in the game was “let’s not spoil a great game”. He should have taken his own advice. But Souths were far from their best though and couldn’t convert their opportunities in the first half. There’s every chance Souths will play the Roosters again in the first week of the semis so get ready for a rematch. Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!

Qualifying final 12th September v Manly at Allianz Stadium – Souths 40 Manly 24

Winners are grinners!! Great win by Souths tonight – the team showed a tremendous intensity in defence and awesome creativity in attack. Even though they clocked off in the last 15 minutes and rested their top players, Souths showed what they’re capable of against a top side like Manly. Two more wins to the ultimate dream. Bring it on!! Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!

Preliminary Final 26th September v Roosters at ANZ Stadium – Souths 32 Roosters 22

Oh. My. God. South Sydney is in the Grand Final. I’ve waited all my life to say that and it still hasn’t sunk in yet. I am bursting with pride right now for this team. After that shaky start I thought the heartbreak of last year was going to revisit us. But in true red and green spirit they fought back. We’re one step from the ultimate dream. With tears of joy in my eyes and South Sydney passion in my heart I’ve only got one thing to say: Let’s Go Rabbitohs!!!!

Grand Final 5th October at ANZ Stadium v Bulldogs – Souths 30 Bulldogs 6

Someone pinch me!! Did that just happen?? South Sydney are the 2014 Premiers!!! I’m writing this with unashamed tears of joy running down my cheeks. We did it. YES!!!!! LET’S GO RABBITOHS FOREVER!!!!!

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