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The rivalry re-ignites - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Tue, 03 Feb 2009 16:50:00 GMT
There was plenty of laughter amongst the players, coaches and media at the official launch of the 2009 Charity Shield at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday.

However come kick-off on February 28th, the laughter will evaporate and turn into stress, joy, anger, relief, anxiety and bouts of inappropriate sign language when long-time rivals St George-Illawarra and South Sydney do everything in their power to kick each other’s ass before the season gets underway on March 13.

Yes, there is nothing quite like a pre-season rivalry to get the blood pumping, the eyes bulging and the mind thinking of something sarcastically inappropriate to yell at rival fans, players and coaches.

Need another reason to buy a ticket to see the only NRL trial game being televised this year?

Wayne Bennett makes his debut in this contest and will attempt to capture the one title that has eluded him in his NRL coaching career….the Charity Shield.

“I think everybody’s going to be keen to see what sort of style the Dragons play in the Charity Shield. It’ll be their first real hit-out even though they’ll have a couple of games before that,” South Sydney coach Jason Taylor said.

Questioned by Ken Sutcliffe about the sort of intelligence the Rabbitohs scouts had secured on their rivals under their new leader, Taylor couldn’t resist making his counterpart grin.

‘Yeah, we’ve had a guy at their training session for most of their sessions [media erupts into laughter]… No, no.

“It will still be a game where we’ll be working hard on putting into place the things we’ve been practising since November and I know that they’ll be doing the same.

“I’m sure that Wayne said he hasn’t changed his style so they’ll be a few things that his Broncos team used to do, that they’ll do.”

Bennett will have his work cut out for him against a Rabbitohs outfit which has won three of their last four pre-season meetings since 2005.

For new South Sydney recruit Colin Best it’s another opportunity to crack a win in a clash which annually generates plenty of interest amongst fans of all NRL clubs both in Australia and abroad.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play in a charity shield match before when I was playing for the Dragons, and I’m really looking forward to playing in this year’s game in the red and green” Best said.

The six-time premiership winning coach has publicly professed in a press statement that he isn’t “expecting any miracles from the Dragons” in his third game in charge.

But after having turned the New Zealand Rugby League Kiwis from international duds into World Cup studs in the space of one year, plenty of Rugby League folk will be forecasting the Dragons as favourites in this clash.

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Since the inception of the Charity Shield in 1982, 25 games have been played with the Dragons winning 14 of those, the Rabbitohs 8 while the clash has resulted in a draw on 3 occassions (1990, 1991, 2002).

Tickets for the 2009 Charity Shield are now on sale to the general public now from Ticketek. You can purchase tickets online from ticketek.com or by calling them on 132 849.

Proceeds from this game will support both Clubs’ community programs in Souths Cares and Dragons community. - Read More, Here