South Sydney coach, Frank Curry was adamant the Rabbitohs still had a future in top level rugby league, despite the embarrassing nature of their 54-8 loss to the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium, in front of a crowd of 31,896.
Curry described the 10 tries to two loss, as ‘murder’ and predicted it would be three or four years before Souths could match it with heavyweights like Brisbane, Canberra and St George.
He said the club had a “money crisis”, and officials were concerned with long term goals, rather than short-term success on the field.
“We have gone to the banks for money to rebuild our leagues club, so we can trade our way into a situation where we can compete in the market place for players,” Curry said. “There is no problem with the club’s long-term survival. It’s just a matter of getting our priorities right. Irrespective of whether the club has money or not, the club could look for results, and they might try someone else as coach. It was murder tonight, but being realistic, we were up against a State of Origin side. Tonight (our players) had the honour of playing against the World Champions.”
Broncos’ coach, Wayne Bennett said no team could stop his side when they were in that sort of mood, with his players keen to avenge a pre-season loss to the Rabbitohs. Souths’ coaching and development manager, Darryl Bampton conceded the Rabbitohs had pulled off something of an ambush at Lang Park in February, catching the Broncos by surprise.Broncos’ centre, Steve Renouf said he and his teammates were able to push off Souths’ players “like flies”, at ANZ Stadium.
Halfback, Allan Langer scored two tries and had a hand in six others. Langer led by example, not just in attack, but also with his defensive work, making four tackles in a row at one stage. Winger, Willie Carne scored three tries and moved into the equal lead with Canberra’s Noa Nadruku, on 10, on the NSWRL try scorers’ list.
Langer, Carne and fellow Broncos, Michael Hancock, Glenn Lazarus and Kevin Walters had played in the Third Trans-Tasman Test at Lang Park, only 48 hours earlier, with Australia winning 16-4 to clinch the series 2-0, after the First Test was a 14-all draw.
After a Board meeting in Brisbane, the Australian Rugby League confirmed Lang Park would remain the home of representative football. Brisbane City Council, and the Broncos, had hoped the bigger ANZ Stadium at Nathan – home of the 1982 Commonwealth Games – would dethrone Lang Park as the venue for rep. footy. But ARL boss, Ken Arthurson said Lang Park would remain HQ, whether it be for one year or 100 years. QRL officials had assured him there were development proposals in the wind, with the Frank Burke Stand to be demolished, to make way for a new stand.
In other news of the time, the Auckland Warriors announced they had signed fullback, Julian O’Neill, but not the Julian O’Neill playing for Brisbane. This Julian O’Neill was a Kiwi, 10cm taller than his Australian namesake, and he was playing club football in Auckland. The Warriors had been granted entry into the 1995 NSWRL, along with the Brisbane based South Queensland Crushers and the Townsville based North Queensland Cowboys. John Monie had been appointed inaugural Warriors’ coach, while Grant Bell and Bill Gardner were announced as the Cowboys’ and Crushers’ coaches. respectively.