Since being taken over by Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court, the South Sydney Rabbitohs have not only achieved solid success on the field – they continue to remain media darlings and have no trouble getting consistent headlines in the various TV and print outlets.
The most recent example being the ‘Book of Feuds’ discussion in the Sun Herald, with Souths releasing extracts from the book to beat up the match between them and the Roosters in the 2008 NRL opening round.
Forged through one hundred years of bitter rivalry, the Rabbitohs have finally let us in on just what they wrote and felt about the Eastern Suburbs Chooks or the Sydney Roosters as they are now known.
Souths have set the scene for an opening NRL Round 1 clash full of fireworks when they take on the Roosters. As The Book of Feuds, which chronicles the foundation Rugby League outfits arguments with its various rivals – contains detailed information on why Souths hate those Roosters so much.
Dreamt up by new Souths boss Russell Crowe, the information and stories in the book have remained off limits to the public – until now. The Sun-Herald was able to get an exclusive extract from the secretive book, where the Bunnies have stated “the Roosters lost their soul”, and boast how Craig Wing’s return to Souths will give them a massive boost, as the old enemies get ready to go to war at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
“They dont have the heritage, the war stories or the attraction that is South Sydney,” the Book of Feuds declares.
“Regardless, for over thirty years, the Easts have had it much their own way. High Profile Players and Management. Corporate Backing. They at times were heavily envied.
“At times we watched, full of envy. But that’s gone now. The momentum that has swung back our way, to’ing and fro’ing for over one hundred years. Similar to Craig Wing.” The Book of Feuds is more a teaching tool just as it is a form of pure motivation. Russell Crowe chatted to the squad soon after the Rabbitohs were back in the NRL and questioned them – which Rugby League outfit had taken out the most premierships. The answers came back: “Saints, Easts, Sea Eagles”. One player even said the Broncos. Not one picked Souths and that was a real worry for Crowe. Disappointed the team members didn’t know the heritage behind the famous red and green jerseys they were donned, Russell asked Rabbitohs die hard Mark Courtney, a 47-year-old IT worker, with the project of building aa true history of the proud club.
“There are clubs we despise and there are others we just don’t like too much – the Roosters are a club we despise,” beams Courtney. “They don’t have a soul in the place. I hate that they believe they are better than us.”
Russell Crowe and other Bunnies personalities read snippets of the Book of Feuds to the team to get them motivated before NRL games last season. In the lead up to Round 1 of the NRL in 2008 against the Roosters, each Souths squad member will be given a personal copy of the leather-bound book before they march out to take on the Roosters.