The four Bunnies who are September specials
They were all on the park when Cooper Cronk and his dodgy shoulder inspired the Sydney Roosters in 2018.
Ditto Josh Papalii for Canberra in 2019. Add to that the loss to Penrith in 2020, then the blowout victory over Manly last year.
The bulk of the Panthers have come through the juniors together and played in plenty of big games, but South Sydney will have four of their own players feature in the club’s fifth straight preliminary final.
Cameron Murray, Damien Cook, Cody Walker and Junior Tatola certainly know what finals football is all about.
Alex Johnston would have joined them for his fifth preliminary final only to be ruled out with a hip-flexor injury, and replaced by Richie Kennar.
Tom Burgess was also on track for a fifth straight week-three final, only to be sidelined through suspension, while Campbell Graham and Mark Nicholls did not feature in 2020 and 2018 respectively.
Coach Jason Demetriou was unaware of the impressive achievement, but was quick to point out the four players would have a huge say on whether they could cause an Accor Stadium boilover against minor premiers Penrith on Saturday night.
“They’re all leaders who have grown over that time, and will have a big say on the game on Saturday night,” Demetriou said. “They’re comfortable in this arena, they know what it’s about, and all four have been excellent for us.”