© 2022 - USMAIL24.COM. All Rights Reserved.
Anthony Albanese reveals drunken Souths fans ‘threw him around’ at the SCG during one of the Rabbitohs’ most famous games
- The Prime Minister has been a die-hard Rabbitohs fan since he was a kid
- Albanian grew up in a family of Souths supporters and followed the same path
- He attended the 1971 Grand Final at the SCG with his mother and his cousin
- The Rabbitohs beat St. George 16-10 to secure fourth premiership in five years
- But it would be their last triumph until they beat Canterbury in 2014
Anthony Albanese has an indelible memory of the 1971 NSWRL Grand Final, which showed him being ‘thrown around’ by Souths fans when the Rabbitohs were victorious over St George.
The Prime Minister has never tried to hide his rugby league loyalty and wears his red and green colors on his sleeve just like any other die-hard Bunnies fan.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph on Monday, Albanian recalled how his indoctrination in Souths came ‘once I came out of the womb’.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanian (right) is a die-hard South Sydney fan
Despite growing up and playing near the Roosters and Newtown, Albanians soon followed the family tradition of supporting the Bunnies. His mother was a fan of Souths, as were his grandparents, who lived near Redfern and Paddington.
By the time he was eight years old, the Labor leader along with his mother and cousin, who supported Manly, attended the 1971 grand final at the SCG.
The Sea Eagles finished the season as the minor premiers but lost to Souths 19-13 in the semi-finals, leaving only the Dragons between the Bunnies and a fourth premiership in five seasons.
Albanian found himself in the middle of the action when Souths scored.
Albanian has made no mystery of his devotion to the Rabbitohs, famously wearing a Bunnies scarf during House Question Time in 2014
“I had a Souths jersey with the plastic number one on the back of the jersey. I give my mother an incredible amount of appreciation for this,” he recalls.
“She took me and my older cousin, Karen Jane, who was a fan of Manly, to the 1971 grand finale at SCG Hill.
“Those were the days when you got there really early and all the boys bring an Esky each—a limit of one case. When the game started everyone was standing and I couldn’t see it, so all those guys put me on their shoulders.
“They didn’t know me, I was a little kid there with his mother. I would have been eight. When Souths scored, they threw me up the mound – they were good at the business then.”
Albanian recalled being ‘thrown around’ by Souths fans when the Bunnies scored while attending the 1971 grand final in the SCG with his mother
Souths made their fifth consecutive Grand Final appearance – the only blemish in their otherwise perfect writing book was an 11-2 loss to Balmain in 1969 – and Souths won 16-10 to secure a record 20th premiership.
However, their triumph also marked the end of their era of dominance, with the Bunnies only returning to the grand final in 2014 when they defeated Canterbury 30-6.
The Rabbitohs were still able to push their limits this season after securing their final spot with a 20-10 win over the Cowboys on Saturday.
The 1971 victory over St George was Souths’ fourth premiership in five seasons and the last until the Bunnies defeated Canterbury in 2014 (above)
Before turning their attention to the final, however, there’s the small matter of including the Roosters in the inaugural game at their arch-rival’s new Allianz Stadium.
Albanian is anything but diplomatic when it comes to the 114-year-old rivalry.
“There’s an antagonism that’s kind of fun too,” he said.
“But it’s a serious game. It’s an aversion and I want to beat the Roosters. […] I have many friends who are rooster supporters and we chat well. We stir each other.’