They’ve been on the rise for several years now; Souths have been luring leading players, the best coaches and office administrators – all the while slowly lifting themselves off the NRL Ladder floor to be genuine week to week contenders.
They’re so close to becoming a more consistent power, could the securing of Mick Crocker be the final piece in the puzzle for Souths?
With Crocker being unable to link with Hull in the UK Super League due to visa problems, it seems a return to the NRL remains his only option to take the field once more. While initially saying he’ll never return to the NRL, it seems his latest failure to secure entry into the UK has left him no other option.
If Souths get the signature of Crocker, which seems a certainty – he could be the final ingredient that sees this side genuinely challenge for the NRL Premiership.
Now I don’t think we’re getting too carried away in saying that, just think of the playing roster;
Big names: Craig Wing, Roy Asotasi, David Kidwell and John Sutton
Rising Stars: Issac Luke, Chris Sandow and Fetuli Talanoa
Workhorses: Luke Stuart, David Faâ€™alogo and Jaiman Lowe
Recent Signings: Rhys Wesser and Colin Best
It’s an ideal mix of talent, youth and experience. With Mick Crocker thrown into the mix, they get another old hard head that has been around the traps – experienced it all at the highest level and brings with him a unique trait of bringing consistent wins.
With the salary cap in place, NRL teams are either on the rebuilding rise or on the slippery slide. Souths have been rebuilding nicely for several seasons now and surrounding the good blend of players is the enviable coaching and administration network.
From the sponsors and attention Russell Crowe brings, the office work of Shane Richardson through to the training and conditioning headed by Jason Taylor and more recently John Lang and Gordon Tallis.
Souths seemingly have left no stone unturned.
Assuming that injury doesn’t interfere, the acquisition of Crocker seems a smart one. It seems that the Rabbitohs would not have had to pay ‘overs’ for the forward, Crocker was keen to resettle in Sydney and with his experience in inner-Sydney at the Roosters, Souths are seemingly an ideal fit.
The Bunnies already have talented, strong, workhorse forwards. Asotasi is gifted, he can hit the line hard and extremely mobile. The experienced Luke Stuart rarely makes an error and puts in major effort week after week.
But what the South Sydney get with Crocker is that hard-nosed, ‘do anything to win’ attitude. Sure, just like Paul Gallen – Crocker flies close to the wind sometimes. He might get over excited with a tackle or react quickly to baiting. But it’s this drive, the hunger and passion that add to his game.
Ask most coaches and they will tell you, “Give me enthusiasm over talent most days”
But the thing with Crocker, is you get both.
With the quality players around him and the extra guidance from Gordon Tallis, expect big things from Crocker and the Bunnies. Unlike previous big name signings, Souths aren’t betting the farm on Crocker and the pressure won’t be so high that he gets hindered.
It’s all upside, just watch the Bunnies go.