1957 Back From The Dead

By Mark Emery for Bunnies TV.

A Horrible Start

Season 2024 started off in the most horrible way. One win out of the first ten games and dead last. But suddenly the Rabbitohs are on the road again. Four wins in a row! Can Souths create a miracle and make the semis?

1957 Back From The Dead
Souths John Cottee and Wests Keith Holman.

Miracle Years

Souths have certainly had some miracle years. There’s been seasons in which South Sydney have come back from the dead. 1955 has to be the most famous. But those of you who are not too old may remember 1980 and 1984. In those years Souths made the semis after unquestionably horror starts.

1957 Back From The Dead
Manlys Rex Mossop and Souths Nev Turner.

The Forgotten Season

1957 is a season that has been lost in the mists of time. Souths started the season with five losses in a row. In those days the NSWRL only played eighteen games so five losses at the start should have spelt the end to a teams chances.

Wests Keith Holman and Souths Nev Turner.

Round 1 v Wests

Souths started the season in the worst way possible. The Bunnies copped a 49-9 belting in a fiery match. Burnie Purcell had his cheekbone smashed.

The Bunnies copped a belting in round 1.

Round 2 v Norths

At North Sydney Oval before a crowd of over 6000, Norths handed Souths their second defeat in a row, winning by 17-9. The Bears lead 15-2 at half time.

1957 Back From The Dead
Norths winger Cardilini raced 80 yards to score.

Round 3 v Easts

Three losses in a row were the story of the sad start to the season after Easts beat a reconstructed Souths side 19-14.

Easts Brian Allsop scored 2 dashing tries in the final 15 minutes.

Round 4 v Newtown

Newtown then made it a fourth defeat in a row at Henson Park, winning 13-7.

1957 Back From The Dead
2 second half tries by centre Kevin Considine was the winning difference.

Round 5 v Balmain

In what was freely described as South Sydney’s worst ever display, Balmain crushed the Rabbits by 41 points to 14. Even Churchill had a poor match. Things were certainly grim. Five losses in a row!

Souths worst ever display!

Round 6 v Manly – The Turn

South Sydney got its first points for the season against Manly. At Brookvale Oval Souths won 23-10. Certianly the amazing thing from this result is that Manly finished runners-up!

First points for the season.

Round 7 v Parramatta – We Are Back!

The Rabbitohs were now on their way! In an outstanding display, South Sydney crushed Parramatta 50-10! Twelve tries!

A 12 try demolition of Parramatta in round 7 with Churchill a leader in attack.

Round 8 v Canterbury

Souths next victim on the comeback trail was Canterbury. The 18-5 score line subsequently made it 3 wins in a row.

3 wins in a row for Souths.

Round 9 v Saints

St. George had won the premiership the year before in ‘56. In 1957 they were surely looking like they might do it again. However, South Sydney proved they were well and truly back in the running with a 24-2 win at the Sports Ground.

A dazzling display by Churchill at the Sports Ground.

Off To The Semis

From then on, South Sydney were a threat. They proved this by winning their way through to third place.

A melee at the S.C.G.

First Semi Final

Souths played Wests in the first Semi Final. In an outstanding display from Clive Churchill and the rest of the team, the Rabbitohs defeated Wests 26-13.

1957 Back From The Dead
Referee Darcy Lawler sent 3 off in a fiery Semi Final.

End Of The Season

South Sydney looked good at half time in the Final against Manly. Unfortunately the Rabbits were run down in the second half after Ian Moir suffered an injury. It was the end to a very satisfying season. Manly were then whalloped in the Grand Final.

I do believe that nobody, including South Sydney would have beaten the mighty Saints that year.

The Rabbits were run down by Manly.

Overall, though,1957 was a season when South Sydney proved they can back from the dead. Will 2024 be the same?

Ian Moir, a brilliant winger.

1957 Back From The Dead.


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    • Thanks Russel
      Bought this off e-bay. I imagine it was scrapbook that was lovingly put together by a child who would have been about 10 in 1957.