NRL Round 10 – Rabbit in the Vineyard: Same old, same old



Round 10

St George Illawarra v South Sydney
Kogarah, Saturday 11th May

Two games into the post-Jason Demetriou era at Maroubra and nothing significant has changed. Am I surprised? Absolutely not.

Souths are still propping up the foot of the ladder, with a for and against of minus 180.

The gulf, indeed the canyon, between Souths and the Gold Coast Titans in 16th place is embarassing – the second last placed side’s for and against is minus 87.

Latrell returned from his latest suspension, Cody played his 200th NRL game, as captain, in the absence of the injured Cam Murray.

Halfback Deon Taupa and bench forward Matt French debuted, while a loan player from the Townsville Blackhawks, Gehamat Shibasaki, played his 30th NRL game, having previously played for both Brisbane and Newcastle.

Origin one is looming:

Cody is the reigning Origin ‘man of the match’,from the Blues’ win in Game Three last year, when he formed a dynamic combination with the magnificently named Bradman Best. NSW won Game Three 24-10.

Keon Koloamatangi debuted in Game Three last season.

Jai Arrow played for Queensland in Game One.

Latrell has not played an Origin match since 2021. He has played seven times for the Blues, including four wins.

Latrell’s Origin position: centre.

Big-name four-year contract recruit, the 31-year-old Jack Wighton, has retired from representative football.


The George Piggins-Mario Fenech-Clive Churchill inspirational play (er) of the game:

The context of 22-year-old Deon Teaupa’s debut.

A special NRL jersey presentation for Dion Teaupa – South Sydney Rabbitohs


The Phil Blake chip n chase best attacking moment:

Cody’s grubber kick for Latrell’s first try. Showed what is possible when both these players are on the field at the same time, and working together.


The Rampling brothers-Ian Roberts-Les Davidson tackle of the match:

28 missed tackles this week, tackle of the match not awarded.

David Furner, new defensive coach … what is happening?!


Blake Taaffe watch: Taaffe was relegated to 18th man for the Bulldogs, with Connor Treacy playing fullback. The Dogs sit ninth on the table, with four wins and five losses.


Stat of the week: Sele v Keppie: The dynamic Hame Sele was another of my favourite players who left the club at the end of 2023. Sure, he missed games through injury, and is not the world’s biggest front rower.

Fact: Sele was a starting prop for Souths last season before signing with the Dragons. Souths subsequently recruited Sean Keppie from Manly.

On Saturday night, Sele ran for 110m, with 52 post contact metres, 11 runs, and made 23 tackles.

Keppie has already spent time in Reserve Grade. On Saturday, Keppie’s contribution was 68 running metres, 29 post contact metres, 8 runs and 28 tackles.

One wonders how the 2023 end of season review critiqued the club’s retention and recruitment strategies?

Full time: St George Illawarra 28 d South Sydney 14

Souths points: tries: Latrell 23’, Tu’ Itapúa Thompson 46’, Latrell 77’. goals Latrell 1.

Half time: St George Illawarra 12-6

Souths line up: Latrell (suspension return), Shibasakig (Souths debut – player 1197), Wighton, Chee Kam, Tu’itupou Thompson, Cody (200th NRL match), Teaupa (debut SSFC player 1198), Moale, Cook, Keppie, Koloamatangi, Arrow, Havili. bench: Mamouzelis, Duncan, Burgess, French (debut – SSFC player 1199)

Notably: Matt French played in Souths’ 2019 Jersey Flegg premiership, as well as the 2023 NSW cup premiership.



NRL 2024 | Dragons v Rabbitohs | Match Highlights (


Press conference:

Ben Hornby on Latrell Mitchell’s return | Rabbitohs Press Conference | Fox League (


RITV Player of the Year points:

3: Tallis Duncan: finally in the 17, finally back on the field in the NRL. His non-selection/lack of game time = another of the great mysteries of South Sydney! Rumour: Tallis wants ‘out’ – who could blame him?
2: Arrow
1: Tom Burgess


Murray 11, Wighton 9, Burgess 6, Duncan, Gray, Moale, Koloamatangi, Hawkins, Cook 3, Arrow, Havili, Gagai 2. S Mitchell, Milne 1.



Michael Hall 2019 Syrah, Eden Valley, Flaxman Valley

Naimanya Vineyard, 520m.

Another superb drop.

Michael Hall Wines – Homepage


Russel Hansen, South Sydney football club diamond member 6199, lives in Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley, South Australia. His golden retriever, Murray, is named after the South Sydney captain. Twitter/X: @Rabbit in the Vineyard @Russel_Hansen


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About Russel Hansen

Russel Hansen Has worked in schools for over thirty years – as a teacher, coach, coach educator, sports coordinator and in pastoral care roles. Whilst at Brisbane Boys’ College as Director of Athletics, he led teams to six GPS premierships in track and field, and cross country. He has coached at all levels from school to international, most recently coaching a lad (100m personal best 10.34secs) to the Australian U/20 4x100m relay squad for the 2022 world U/20 championships. He is married to Heidi, a Primary school principal, and is father to two adult daughters. Twitter: @Russel_Hansen


  1. Ian Hauser says

    Russel, I formally propose that you work on putting together a Barossa Premium Red Dozen based on your research this year. See what kind of a deal you can wrangle. You might have more luck with that than with Souths!

    Wayne the Messiah? Or is he just a naughty boy?

    The games people play!

  2. Matt O'Hanlon says

    At least The pride of the league have never lost in Magic Round- so that must give supporters some comfort. It was this time 12 months ago just after MR that things started to unravel

  3. Russel Hansen says

    Matt – CORRECT (as Chippy Frilingos used to say on the Continuous Call, often)

    Magic round last year – Souths beat the Storm – then the next week in indigi round, Parra toweled us up, as did Canberra the next week – and the slide was on …

    My fear: Wayne will think he can cuddle Cody & Latrell, and all will be fine.

    If Uncle Wayne leaves the broom in Redcliffe, Souths are stuffed

  4. Russel Hansen says

    Ian: the R.I.T.V. dozen (or more!) – I think it’s a very worthwhile concept – for the Barossa winemakers, for myself – a welcome distraction from Souths’ ineptitude, and for others!

    The launch would have to take place at the TC: although a ‘launch’ often involves boats and WATER! There has been zero rain in these parts for … a very long time!

    Uncle Wayne: it will be his biggest challenge

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