Show me a man who predicted before the start of the season that South Sydney would play Canterbury in the NRL grand final and I’ll show you a liar.
South Sydney fans are looking to the heavens along with captain John Sutton and stars Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess to end the club’s 43-year premiership drought.
Seriously, it was against the odds to say the least.
In 2013, the Bulldogs finished sixth and went out first up in the semis to Newcastle – which probably says enough about their year.
As for Souths, well, there is a rumour doing the rounds that Channel 9 is going to broadcast Sunday’s grand final in black and white as to replicate the last time the Bunnies won a comp.
But as we get ready for the NRL’s biggest day, here we are, South Sydney against Canterbury Bankstown.
It feels like for the past five years every year has been Souths year.
Unfortunately, for long-suffering fans of the red and myrtles their team have kept falling at hurdles they should have bounded over.
But surely, this is it. They can’t lose this one. Can they?
They’ve got GI, they’ve got the Burgess clones and they’ve got possibly the most demanding, methodical coach going around.
In their two semi-finals they blew away a Manly team that had been the benchmark for most of the season and the Roosters who ended up taking out the minor premiership.
No one could argue Souths don’t deserve to be there, because they do. They destroyed the teams who finished first and second and have been there or thereabouts for most of the campaign.
And now, they play the team that ran seventh.
Now, I know it’s the NRL, and one of the ideas of the salary cap was to distribute the talent evenly, thus making the teams more even, and anyone can beat anyone on their day.
But Canterbury ran seventh. Out of 16 teams. And they ran seventh for a reason.
Surely there is no way Souths can muck this up.
On Sunday night about 9pm, if it is Souths who lift the trophy, it would wash away 43 years of heartache and frustration and finally give
one of the oldest and proudest Australian sporting clubs their moment to smile in the modern age.
But as a Dogs fan told me this week, this Canterbury team just doesn’t give up.
He gave them little chance of beating the Storm in Melbourne, or Manly a week later, or a well-rested Penrith on Saturday night.
Somehow, they just keep getting the job done.
It’d be a brave man to say they can’t do it again on Sunday.
Who will win?
Obviously no one can say for sure.
But whichever way it goes it has the makings of a classic.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.