They’ve made some handy purchases, namely Dave Taylor, Sam Burgess and Ben Ross – but were soundly beaten by the reinvented Roosters under Brian Smith.
The Rabbitohs have even installed a new coach, John Lang. The former Panthers clipboard man was another impressive addition to a club that was hell bent on improvement as they prepared for 2010.
But the Bunnies probably discounted the impact of losing one Craig Wing.
The ultimate super-sub, Wing didn’t have the happiest of times at Redfern the second time round. He was brought back home on a big pay-packet and after being injured early in the piece, he was left to virtually wait a year on the sideline until he could make his comeback.
When he did play, Wing was invaluable to the Bunnies.
Coach Jason Taylor, like many of the coaches Craig Wing played under – never really knew which was the best position for the livewire utility.
In some ways, Wing was a victim of his own success. He could play halfback, five-eighth or hooker and regardless of position, he was the gel that kept Souths together on the field on many occasions.
Their were rumblings about other players being jealous of Wing’s big pay packet, other sources said club bosses felt Wing was signed for too much money.
Regardless of all the innuendo, Craig Wing was helping Souths win games. Even when brought off the bench as an impact player, the guy was almost always worth points. If he didn’t touchdown himself, he was setting up try scoring plays or making crucial tackles.
Wing rarely got flustered on the field, he was a cool customer that knew how to win.
The Roosters didn’t realise how much they were losing when they let him go and it seems Souths did exactly the same only a few years later.
Lets hope Souths can bounce back as they continue their quest for improvement – but sometimes, you just don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone.