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The Roosters Crow: Foundation Rivalry Returns

With two wins from two matches for the mighty Roosters, what better test to come up against than our good old neighbours on Friday night at Stadium Australia for the first leg of the Ron Coote Cup?

Recent History: Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Friday night will be the 248th time the two foundation clubs come head-to-head since 1908, and while the Rabbitohs got over the top of us last time, the Tricolours have the upper hand over the last ten meetings, coming away with six victories. 

Despite being a fairly even contest in recent history, the Roosters have won when it's mattered the most, notably in the 2018 Preliminary Final (14-6) and the 2019 Qualifying Final (30-6) both en route to the Club's 14th and 15th Premierships respectively. 

The Roosters also have a superior record against our rivals since 2002, winning 26 out of 41 matches. 

How They Line Up

Initially named in the starting seventeen, Roosters Members and supporters will have to wait another week to see the return of Victor Radley, however, with Angus Crichton slotting back in from suspension, Trent Robinson has fielded arguably the strongest Roosters side for 2021 so far. 

The only change for the Rabbitohs is the return of Josh Mansour who comes onto the wing in place of Jaxson Paulo as they look to build on their win over Manly. 

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Dane Gagai
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Campbell Graham
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Josh Mansour
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Brett Morris
  • Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Lachlan Lam
  • Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary


  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Thomas Burgess
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Lindsay Collins
  • Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Freddy Lussick
  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Tevita Tatola
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jaydn Su'a
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
  • Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Isaac Liu


  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Benji Marshall
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Mark Nicholls
    Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Patrick Mago
    Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Drew Hutchison
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Jai Arrow
    Interchange for Roosters is number 21 Fletcher Baker

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key Matchup: James Tedesco vs Latrell Mitchell

Two of the competition's superstars come head to head at the back on Friday night as co-captain James Tedesco marks up against former Rooster Latrell Mitchell.

Tedesco has been one of the leading lights for the Tricolours so far in 2021, scoring a hat-trick in Round 1 before backing up with a double against the Wests Tigers last weekend, sparking the side to two 40-point tallies in as many weeks.

Despite not scoring as many four-pointers as his former teammate, Mitchell has been just as influential for the Bunnies, setting up numerous tries including the match-sealer last Saturday, and will be looking to test himself against the current NSW and Australian fullback. 

Both players have also been incredibly busy, averaging similar numbers for tackle breaks (16 to 15 to Tedesco) and average running metres (174 to 166 to Tedesco), so you can expect the final result to more than likely hinge on the back of the two custodians.  

What Our Boys Said

"We're two proud clubs and we're very excited about the challenge of coming up against the Bunnies. It's always a tough battle, both sets of fans are very passionate and loyal and love watching that battle." - Winger Brett Morris


"The crowd gets right into it, the fans love it and every game we take them on is big and special so I'm really excited. I love playing these big games." - Centre Joseph Manu 


“We’ve had some big games over the last 100-odd years but especially in my time here we’ve had some big moments. You don’t forget them and you want to have that neighbour vs neighbour attitude." - Head Coach Trent Robinson

Coach's Media - Round 3

Your Verdict

It's always an intense match when we come up against our oldest rivals, and with both sides having plenty to play for - in particular the Ron Coote Cup - you'll want to make sure you're prepared for an absolute thriller. 

If you can't get tickets to Stadium Australia, be sure to head to the new and improved Easts Leagues and watch the game at Artie's Bar while you cheer on the mighty Roosters! 

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.