Just when South Sydney spirit was just a vague memory, the Bunnies again became the Mighty Rabbits.
The Little Master, Clive Churchill, would have been delighted with the Dylan Walker hit on Konrad Hurrell in the triumph over the Warriors in Perth on Saturday night. One of the galloping wounded, Walker had been dynamic but the spirit came into a last ditch defence when the result was certain yet the 19-year-old wasn't prepared to give a centimetre.
Hurrell in full flight was awesome, but Walker launched himself at him in a move deemed illegal but surely scored 10 out of 10 for guts.
The collision didn't stop Hurrell from scoring but took the sting out of his celebration kiss to the camera. The referee warned Walker to work on his defence. During the second half Walker got that much treatment on his injured thumb, amputation looked the next step.
In 1955 the Rabbits were playing Manly and Churchill had to make a last-ditch tackle, a tad high by modern standards, stopped a try and broke his arm.
Churchill continued with the break in a make-shift cardboard splint and even kicked the winning goal. Still, the never-say-die tradition had been trailblazed and enhanced by Big Jack Rayner, the greatest South Sydney captain-coach, when he returned from the Kokoda track.
Churchill regarded him as the ''fairest'' player ever, so it's not all about desperation and playing through the pain barrier.
John Sattler endured most of the 1970 grand final with a broken jaw. After being hit he told teammate Michael Cleary: ''Hold me up so they don't know I'm hurt.''
Wearing the red and green you are never beaten, epitomised by George Piggins, as unrelenting off-field as on. The Rabbits are only alive today because Piggins refused to allow the club to be ruled out of rugby league by Rupert Murdoch. At times the spirit may not have produced a win but a memorable experience. It would have been about 1960 - Souths ended with 11 on the field; injured players couldn't be replaced.
The referee disallowed a late try which would have won us the match. In the grandstand Jim Faint, who had played in the South Sydney juniors, took offence. Buoyed by the spirit with extra fuel from a keg, he hurdled the fence onto the playing area. Faint cleared the obstacle with ease and pursued the referee, who was leaving the field. Faint launched left hooks at him.
Alas, the timekeeper who rang the bell in those days was closer to being hit. No damage was done, but it shows the passion.
On Saturday night, when Greg Inglis limped off like a horse ready for the mercy bullet, Bryson Goodwin out of play with an injured elbow and Jason Clark decked and groggy, the Warriors had the Rabbits seemingly ready for a warren.
South Sydney showed they are not just bash and barge, nor an outfit based on one great player. The spirit is back.
The story When the chips are down, the red and green rise with the Rabbitohs spirit first appeared on WA Today.