Please spare me – not another tosh sodden story about the Rusties

It has taken a lot to get me back to the typewriter.   But the avalanche of rugby league tosh and bum-fuddle that has bloated the Daily Dread and the slim-line Clever Chronicle about the Rusties for the past week has finally done it.

Sure it was moderately pleasing to see the Rusties beat the Hasslers. If only that the lesser evil triumphed on the evening.

That there was a player stupid enough to play on with injury in such a match then that is indeed unfortunate.  However when a team’s management is desperate enough for an elusive title, that in this century, they allow not one but two players to play on with significant injuries then why should I stand up and say well done?  Why should I doff my lid to this errant disregard for a players welfare re-badged as courage?

And I don’t care if Sam Bully Beagle farts Walzing Matilda through a crack in his skull.  And I don’t care if the previously estranged George ‘Grumpy’ Piggins tongue kisses Al Packer.  I don’t care about the fucking Book of Feuds. But I do care for the players who in years to come will to be cruelly crippled because dickwits believe that the ends justify the means.

Frankly I just don’t care about simple Souths anymore.  Because they are, as I have said before, the new Manly and they stink.  The coach Mid-Carder Maguire imported from Dullcity South a bag of wrestling holds and throws that has quagmired the free-flowing game to the extent that every contested tackle is an exercise in grip, grope and grapple.  He had no problem with injured players playing on.  No worries. That he got Coach of the Year shows how little respect the NRL numbskulls have for the future of the game.

And of course both the Dread and the Clever regaled us with wonderful ownership tales about Rusty’s partner, Petro Hyphen selling out. Petro has wanted out even before Al Packer’s speakeasy started to sponsor the Rusties.  Petro apparently hated the Club to be so heavily associated with gambling. Of course it will not be a problem now with Al, from the big end of town.  As Grumpy says:

“It’s fantastic, his father used to help us and if James takes the role, and it looks as though he is, it’ll be fantastic. It’s fantastic for him to be there to help the club … that is the real big end of town. The [Crowe Group] said they were going to go to the big end of town, well, Packer is the big end of town, I’ll tell you. It means you can buy better stock, make sure everyone is content, that the fans get a fair go. It should be pretty special.”

So Grumpy is right – It’s going to be “pretty special’ in 2015 – the big end of town in control of Souths.  So get used to it folks, the Crownies are here to play and stay.
Step right up.  Double your money.  Not one powerful fat prick shrouded in a white bunny jacket but two – crowing from the balcony as their boys belt and bash each other into an early grave.

Are the Armani Bunnies becoming the new Manly?

One would think most rugby league fans would be celebrating South Sydney being on top of the ARL ladder this year.  However there is a pervading sense that most would like to see South Sydney knocked off their perch.

How could this be so?  Aren’t South Sydney the battlers?  Aren’t they everyone’s third team?

Forty odd years ago everyone had three teams.  Your own, often acquired through geographical circumstances or family influence. Then there was your second team – they were the team playing Manly that week and then there were the Rabbitohs – the battlers’ team.  Everyone loved the Rabbits.  Bobby McCarthy, Clive Churchill, John Sattler, Eric Simms, Percy Williams – the list goes on.  It didn’t matter that Souths hadn’t won the big one since 1971.  We wanted them to win.  Or did we?  Or was it just a sense of wanting a team that was struggling to do well, but not too well.

There is an interesting phenomenon of a silver sliver of middle class men who have never had a golden throat charmer of Reschs in their lives or been to Redfern Oval but who gather under the Bunnies banner. These cooler club fans simply seem to be over-compensating for the guilt of their class crimes or feel as if by supporting something ‘working class” they are adding another button to their character coat.

I mention this because I think we can chart the demise of general support for Souths from the time of intervention of two from the silver sliver.   When the cranky old curmudgeon Georgie Piggins – the saviour of Souths was replaced by two well-heeled chaps, Rusty Cowe & Peter Holmes a Court something changed forever.  Now it’s not as if Georgie was scratching for pennies because when a lot of players were buying Tooheys George was buying trucks – lots of trucks.  However there was a strong argument that suggested that Souths were in financial trouble and that the only way forward was to ‘corporatise it’ with Rusty and Pete in charge.

This reinvention of the ‘Rusties’ saw Crowe dress the boys in Armani suits (which really only proved you cannot bronze turds) and bore them witless with his endless readings from his rewrite of the Book of Feuds.  Some say Rusty fancies himself as the new Banjo Patterson and anyone who has heard his band, ‘Thirty Seconds Too Long’ would soundly agree. However membership and sponsorship are both up so it has, on the balance sheet at least, been a most successful coup.  On the field after having got rid of successive coaches they are now leading the competition and are favourites to win the Grand Final.  So two ticks.

But there is something different about the Armani Bunnies.  They play a different style of football to the old Rabbitohs. There is a cheap nastiness about the way South’s play these days.  The niggle and a pack brutality mark their game.  It is best characterised by the Bovver Beagle Boys – Sam and George Burgess.  A game doesn’t go by without Sam Beagle using his forearm like a sculptor, in a creative manner or a night out doesn’t end with George Beagle having a bit of a ‘laff’ by throwing a street sign through a car window.  Have a look at Roy Asotasi’s ‘cannonball’ tackle on the young St George forward, Jack De Belin on Monday night if you are in doubt about their new style of play.

Bunnie John Sutton at one stage credited the Bra Boys for changing his life.  In 2013 I am sure that Crowe Maximus thinks he is the Bra Man who solely uplifted the drooping fortunes of the Rusties.

So when we look back into Rusty’s Book of Feuds I wonder whether we will find reference to the 1909 Grand Final?  This bit of deception was recently brought to my attention by Tiger fan, ‘Toby the Truncheon’. It was when the Rabbitohs ‘stole’ the premiership from Balmain after agreeing to jointly boycott the final and then turning up solo to take it on forfeit.

That was a century go.  Times were different then but it now seems that the Armani Bunnies may have rediscovered their original ruthless roots under the leadership of Crowe Maximus.  If that is the case then they will truly be the new Manly.