Rabbitohs VS Storm (Part IV): Botany Road

When we last left our heroes, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, they were leading the Melbourne Storm 14-0 at the half.  The Rabbitohs were putting on a hell of a show, denying Melbourne both the opportunity to score as well as taking advantage of Melbourne’s dropped ball errors.  Suffice it to say, the Bunnies were doing their job!  As for myself and Bill, we were two chill rabbits sitting beneath The Burrow while enjoying a stellar first half of footy.  I was multitasking between drinking, cheering, snapping pics (with my iPhone, digital camera, and camcorder!), and clamoring for a photo op with Reggie.  Whew!

Our beloved Reggie, leading The Burrow in a massive chant!

Our beloved Reggie, leading The Burrow in a massive chant!

Anyhoo, back to the game…

Bryson Goodwin kicked off.  It only took 35 seconds for the Storm to punt the ball, and only on 4th tackle by Cooper Cronk.  Luckily for the Bunnies, the ball went out of bounds, resulting in a South Sydney scrum formation.  From that scrum, Greg Inglis gets tackled (1st tackle).  Jason Clark is then tackled at the 32 m line (2nd tackle).  George Burgess gets tackled at the 45 m line (3rd tackle).  Sam Burgess makes up ground, but  gets taken down inside the 45 m line (4th tackle).  Sam Burgess hands the ball off to Chris McQueen, who gets tackled inside the 35 m line (5th tackle).  Adam Reynolds punts the ball sky high into the Storm’s end zone, ending an impressive offensive blitz by the Bunnies.  At 43:48, the Storm give us a near heart-attack when they come very close to our try line.  A Storm scrum had them just meters away from the line.  McClane was tackled inside our 15 m line, then Tohu Harris was tackled just 5 m away from the try line.  At 44:37, Billy Slater passes the ball, but Walker miss the toss; the ball flew out of bounds, and a Storm try was averted!  Whew!

"And the Bunnies are back for the second half!"

“And the Bunnies are back for the second half!”

For most of the second half of the game, it was a slew of scrums, balls going out of bounds, and dropped ball errors.  For example, Granted, the Rabbitohs made one or two careless errors, but thankfully, the Storm were not their usual, aggressive selves; earlier this year, the Storm had dealt the Bunnies a crushing loss in Melbourne.  The Rabbitohs offense was, however, doing everything in their power to tire the Storm out.  Everytime Souths had the ball, they managed to make up a lot of space on the field.

At 53:14, Bryson Goodwin catches a punted ball, but dropped it.  A knock-on by Dylan Farrell gave the Storm a scrum opportunity.  At 53:40, the scrum resulted in Billy Slater carrying the ball in for Melbourne’s first try.  The score changed at 14-4.  A converted kick by Cameron Smith adjusted the score to 14-6.  After a few quick boos and shouting, play resumed on the field.  At 63:15, we Bunnies received another scare in the form of Billy Slater.  Cooper Cronk kicked the ball from inside our 5 m line which bounced and was caught by Billy Slater, which resulted in a try.  The try, however, was disputed; the instant replay showed Chambers interfering by bumping into Nathan Merritt.  The result:  NO TRY!  Whew!  The Storm are forced a line dropout and the Bunnies get to restart the play.

"And the Storm begins to subside..."

“And the Storm begins to subside…”

At 66:41, a bit of Bunnies magic occurred when Adam Reynolds, on 3rd tackle, passes the ball to Greg Inglis, who then passes it to Isaac Luke.  Issac Luke narrowly runs it in for try, and the entire stadium erupts in a burst of joy!  I was taping the try on my little camcorder; a split second after he scored it, I panned my camcorder into The Burrow and saw an excited Bill, jumping up and down like a kid on Christmas morning!  Or rather Easter Morning (Bunnies, get it?!).  I was standing up on my seat and shouting with Bill, in perfect chours, “GO, YOU BUNNIES!  GLORY GLORY!  WHOO-HOO!”  So this is what it is like to be a die-hard fan of footy?  No wonder the Aussies are so happy when it comes to professional sports!  A quick and easy conversion by Adam Reynolds gave the Bunnies a 20-6 lead!

Bill in The Burrow

Bill in The Burrow

With about 12 minutes left to play, I still felt as if it was too early to start celebrating.  As it turns out, I was right.  A kickoff return by the Bunnies resulted in the Storm intercepting the ball.  Damn it!  At 69:40, the Rabbitohs almost get the ball, but the Storm knock it out of the way.  Thankfully, that act of denying us the ball resulted in a knock-on for Melbourne.  At 70:40, an ugly injury occurred when Cecil Whangarea crashed into Dylan Farrell; Farrell tried to stop Whangarea, but Whangarea flipped over him, resulting in Whangarea injuring his head and neck.  The medics game on the field and wheeled him away.  As if karma came to reward the Storm to make sure Whangarea’s injury was not in vain, Cooper Cronk passed ball to Will Chambers for a try.  The score was now 20-10.  Luckily, Cameron Smith missed the chance to convert, thus leaving the score as it was.

With less than 2 minutes to play, I could hear the crowds begin to chant the words to Botany Road, the song sung by Rabbitohs fans whenever they know that a victory is inevitable; a proud tradition that comes with being a fan of the Bunnies!  Botany Road refers to the street in South Sydney where the club originated.  The song is sung to the tune of Country Road by John Denver.

Take me home, Botany Road                                                                                                                                                        To the place, I belong!                                                                                                                                                                     Back to Redfern                                                                                                                                                                                  South of Sydney                                                                                                                                                                                 Take me home, Botany Road

As the clock ticked down, the fans singing grew loud and proud!  I knew it was only a matter of time before the final siren would blare across the field and the entire Burrow would erupt in an explosion of joy and Aussie pride!  Sure enough, the last minute on the game clock was all a build up to what would be a great feeling!  At 80:00, Bill and I blew up like a pair of excited Australian bunnies!  More importantly, I finally had a moment of closure after the Minor Premiership just a week ago.  I knew that I could go home a happy bunny, knowing I just witnessed not just a marvelous Rabbitohs win, but to hear the strains of Glory Road in person!

"Now THESE are a pair of excited Bunnies!  GO RABBITOHS!"

“Now THESE are a pair of excited Bunnies! GO RABBITOHS!”

Bill and I happily stumbled out of ANZ Stadium walking on air.  As we headed to his car, we stopped by the Brewery; even the local policemen posed for a photo with me.  I even ran into two very nice women that I had previously encountered during my excursion to the Hawkesbury River.  

This Aussie cop has charged me with an attempt to love the Rabbitohs!

This Aussie cop has charged me with an attempt to love the Rabbitohs!

"What can I say?  The Sheila's love me!"

“What can I say? The Sheila’s love me!”

 

And to think not too long ago, I was but a stranger in this sunburnt landscape.  After two Rabbitohs games, I felt like an honorary Australian Bunny!  A huge honor, indeed!    To my friends and family in America, describing this feeling of camaraderie and victory is hard to put into words.  All I can say is, “Get you arse’ on a plane to Sydney, throw on some red and green, crack open a Tooheys, and sing for the Bunnies to your hearts content!”  Oh, and remember to say hi to Reggie!  GO RABBITOHS!

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
This entry was posted in Australia, New South Wales, Sports in Sydney, Sydney and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *