Sunday, 7 August 2011

Attempting The Question, Why? (2006)

Ladies and Gentlemen, today I shall answer the question, “Why has Souths been allowed to continue in the NRL?”

To answer such a question, one must look at many circumstances, situations, historical data, as well as looking at current statistical information to see if there is a justified reason for their continued existence.

First of all, lets look at the history of Souths.

Souths entered the competition in 1908 and were immediately the benchmark that all other teams strived to be, but rarely managed to achieve. Souths won Premierships in 1908, 1909, 1914 and 1918. When they weren’t premiers they were either second or third. After a brief Premiership drought, Souths came back in a big way, becoming Premiers seven times in eight seasons from 1925 to 1932.

Souths again suffered another dry run of titles between 1933 and 1949. When the 50’s hit though, so did Souths, claiming 5 titles in 6 years, before the mighty Dragons took control of the competition.

From the end of the Dragons run til 1989, Souths managed just 4 titles and 5 Grand Final appearances. Souths were Minor Premiers in 1989, but were easily accounted for in the finals series that year, starting them on a horror decade of dismal performances.

From 1990 til today there have been 26 teams in the first grade competition, and only six of those teams have not made a finals appearance, with Souths being the only team that is still in the competition without any finals appearances since 1990. The other five teams have all become extinct.

Since 1990, Souths win percentage is a paltry 24.42%. Worse still, is that since their reintroduction to the competition, they have only won 20.83% of their games.

There are three teams in the history of the first grade competition, that have not managed a finals match in 15 consecutive seasons. They are Parramatta (15 seasons from 1947 to 1961), Souths (15 seasons from 1990 to 1999 and 2002 to 2006) and Penrith (18 seasons from 1967 to 1984).

In their last 15 seasons, Souths have finished the season with five wins or less on nine occasions, four of those since their return. Simply put, pathetic. Teams have averaged 28 points per game against the Bunnies over the last 15 seasons, since their return, Souths have let in an average of 32 points per game.

These figures clearly show that Souths are on a steady decline, which is hard to fathom considering there really wasn’t much further downward for them to go.

The fans and administration can hardly say that they haven’t had good opportunities on the player market either. Since their return to the competition, some of the players they have signed include: Anthony Colella, Jason Death, Glenn Grief, Wade McKinnon, Adam Muir, Adam Peek, Frank Puletua, Russell Richardson, Terry Hill, Shane Rigon, Chris Walker, Bryan Fletcher, Ashley Harrison, Adam MacDougall, Luke MacDougall, Shane Marteene, Ben Walker, Joe Galuvao, Paul Mellor and David Peachey. Players that have been regular first graders for quite a majority of their careers. Some of which had even played for Australia.

Souths even brought in a successful coach from England in Shaun McRae, but the Bunnies soon destroyed his win percentage. Souths have had more coach turnover than any other club since returning to the fray in 2002.

They’ve changed management and sold a majority of the club to an actor. The actor being Russell Crowe, a devout Souths fan, with the same devout disillusionment as fellow Bunny fans, that Souths are on the move up.

If anything, Crowe may well be remembered for making one of the poorest investment decisions ever.

Their on-field record prior to their expulsion was ordinary. Miserly crowd figures and financially struggling. Therefore a just decision was made.

The fans fought gallantly to get their team back in the competition. They succeeded, then after the novelty of their return wore off, the crowds went back to their usual dismal numbers, the wins were harder to come by, the administration changed, coaches coming and going more regularly than at Sydney’s Central Station and the finances still being a big issue.

The team has gone back to the situation they were in the year they were booted, the only difference, this time they are worse off.

Why has Souths been allowed to continue in the NRL? No one knows, I can’t even think of a humorous reason. Souths are a bigger joke than I could ever think up.

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