Gladiators do about-turn to be soulmates

IT DOESN'T seem that long ago that Souths veteran George Piggins and movie star Russell Crowe were arch enemies.

Crowe was trying to formulate a financial rescue package to save the Rabbitohs and George was telling him to hop away and stick his head down a hole.

Now after all the debate, heartache and stress, Souths are the toast of the league and the enemies have become soulmates.

I have only seen the type of emotion we witnessed yesterday once before in a league grand final and that was when Mel Meninga hugged Ricky Stuart after they won the Canberra Raiders' first premiership in 1989.

Both warriors were bloodied, battered and bruised, and tears were flowing.

The picture of that moment was so poignant I kept a copy for years and I only just handed this on to a young sports editor for his desk.

There is no doubt that Sam Burgess has written himself into league folklore with his courageous display.

Not only did he excel on the day, he also lifted Souths throughout the season, making sure they got to the big dance.

I have seen many English representatives come over to Australia to play first grade; he stands tall now as the best of the lot.

The result was certainly great for Souths, but even better for rugby league.



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