In the tumult of the instigation of the National Rugby League, one of Sydney’s oldest and most successful clubs was on the chopping block after years of below average performance on and off the field. Needing to rationalise the competition to fourteen teams in 2000, the NRL took the decisive step of excluding South Sydney from the competition. This led to years of court action, unprecedented protests and investment from movie stars before the Rabbitohs were returned to the NRL in 2002.
The Bunnies’ return to the NRL was not met with success. Spared the wooden spoon in 2002 thanks to the Bulldogs‘ salary cap rorting, Souths would take the spoon in three of the next four seasons before starting the long march back to the top. Souths first finals appearance in 2007 was the club’s first since 1989. A shallow few years passed before it clicked into place with three consecutive top four finishes and a premiership in 2014.
Using the Eratosthenes system, we measure the long term class – their structural competence – of NRL clubs.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs’ current rating is 1507, just a smidge above average and is the seventh best in the league. Souths have had an average class rating of 1428 since 1998, although this includes a two year period having a static rating while their club’s inclusion in the NRL was decided in court. This is the lowest average in the league.
Over the last decade, their average rating has been 1473. This is the league’s tenth best over the last decade, beating out Canberra, Cronulla, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Parramatta and Penrith.
The Bunnies peaked at a maximum rating of 1623 after round 3, 2015. This is the ninth highest club rating, ahead of the Raiders, Sharks, Cowboys, Titans, Panthers, Warriors and Tigers.
South Sydney’s lowest ever rating was 1297, after round 12, 2005. No other team has had a lower rating. Newcastle are on track to eclipse this if they go 3-21 or 2-22 this season.
- Premierships – 1 | 2014
- Runners-up – 0
- Minor Premierships – 0
- Finalist – 5 | 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Wooden Spoons – 3 | 2003, 2004, 2006
Record (rd1/1998 – rd17/2017)
- Games 433
- Wins 175 (40.4%)
- Draws 4
- Points For 8,613
- Points Against 10,465
- Net F/A -1,852
- Pythagorean expectation 40.9%
Using the Archimedes system, we measure the short term form of NRL clubs.
Souths have averaged a form rating of 1425 over the last 26 regular season rounds. Their current rating is 1446.
The Rabbits’ highest rating was 1539 after round 3’s win over the Knights. The lowest rating was 1278 after round 22 last year.
Record (last 26 rounds)
- Finished 2016 in 12th
- Currently 11th
- Games 23
- Wins 10 (43.5%)
- Draws 0
- Points For 455
- Points Against 496
- Net F/A -41
- Pythagorean expectation 45.9%
We use the Stocky to predict what might happen in the season ahead. This is what the Stocky has predicted for South Sydney so far in the 2017 season.