The best ever v Rabbitohs
Liam Tapper (@liamtapper)
Since our first clash back in 1970, there has been a host of attacking football between these two Clubs. Let’s look at the best matches to date!
1. ET’s scores 5 tries;
One of the greatest solo attacking efforts by a Cronulla Sharks player over our 49-year history.
In front of 14,012 fans at Caltex Oval, Andrew ‘ET’ Ettingshausen put on a master class, crossing the line on five occasions in the Sharks’ 42-0 rout of the South Sydney side.
Wearing his now-famous no. 3 jersey, ET used a combination of pace, vision and athletic ability to combine with the halves Paul Green and Mitch Healey to dispatch of Souths.
The haul by the young centre set the Club try scoring record of five tries in one match. This stood until this year, equalled by non other than Valentine Holmes in our Round 10 62-0 victory over the Newcastle Knights.
Sharks 42 Souths 0, Round 22, August 27, 1994. Tries: Andrew Ettingshausen 5, Geoff Bell, Mitch Healey, Nathan Long. Goals: Mitch Healey 3, Eion Crossan 2.
2. The infamous “Shark-nado” of 2015
How could we forget this!
With torrential rain and strong winds battering Sydney the previous weekend, questions would surround the viability of the Monday night clash against the Rabbitohs.
As kick-off drew closer, the decision was made to cancel the NYC match however let the NRL sides do battle.
The Round 7 clash got under way and it was the Sharks who were first on the board through Michael Gordon on the right wing before Luke Lewis followed up a Michael Ennis grubber close to the posts.
The Sharks would lead 10-4 at the break.
Holmes would kick an early penalty in the second half to extend the Sharks lead however with a mistake off the restart, Souths hit back soon after and the score went to 12-10.
Not to be out done though, the Sharks camped themselves on the Rabbitohs line, with the pressure eventually paying off and Jayson Bukuya crossing over.
Holmes would add another two points and the Sharks would be home and hosed in a horrendous night at Remondis Stadium.
Sharks 18 Souths 10, Round 7, Monday April 20. Tries: Gordon, Lewis, Bukuya. Goals: Gordon 1, Holmes 2.
3. Cronulla’s barnstorming Round 25 victory at Aussie Stadium 2003
In what wasn’t the most successful season for the Black, White and Blue, the Round 25 victory over the Rabbitohs certainly was a stand-out for then coach Chris Anderson and his side.
Having gone down by a record margin the previous week, the Sharks were looking to bounce back and try and lift themselves from the bottom end of the NRL ladder.
Anderson’s men arrived at Aussie Stadium (Allianz Stadium today) with a point to prove and prove they did, running rampant against the Rabbitohs.
With Brett Kimmorley pulling the strings, Sam Isemonger crossed the stripe on three occasions.
The play of the day though would have to go to current skipper Paul Gallen’s line-break which was followed by a deft-grubber to Greg Bird who crossed the line in the 76th minute.
Sharks 54 Souths 34, Round 25, August 30 2003. Tries: Isemonger 3, Greg Bird 2, Jarrad Anderson, Matthew Rieck, Chris Beattie, Danny Nutley, Paul Gallen. Goals: Anderson 7.
4. The first ever victory
It goes without saying, however our first victory over any team is a special occasion.
Played at the then Caltex Oval, the Sharks played host to the red-hot South Sydney Football Club.
Having won the ’67, ’68 premiership and runners-up in ’69, the Rabbitohs would be no easy beats and led by the likes of John Sattler and Eric Sims would be a great challenge for the Sharks.
However, the Sharks were not to be overawed.
Led by our very own star in Tommy Bishop, the Sharks pulled away from Souths to score a 26-6 victory in front of 7,021 faithful fans.
Sharks 26 Souths 6, Round 9, May 23 1970. Tries: Tommy Bishop, Dave Cooper, John Maguire, John Taper, George Taylforth. Goals: George Taylforth 5.
5. 2015 Finals Week 1
How could we go past this?
Finishing 6th in the 2015 NRL season, the Sharks were pitched against reigning Premiers the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Week 1 of the Finals Series.
The Shark went into the match as favourites however with Andrew Fifita succumbing to back spasms just minutes from kick-off, the sides were evenly poised at the outset.
The Sharks dominated the first half with tries to Bird, Graham and Tupou and would lead 18-0 at the break.
A lone second half try to Sam Tagataese along with two Michael Gordon penalty goals saw the Sharks would concede two late tries however would go on into Week 2 of the Finals, 28-12 victors.
Sharks 28 Souths 12, Week 1 Finals 2015, September 13 2015. Tries: Bird, Lewis, Tupou, Tagataese. Goals: Gordon 6.