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HomeNewsNRL 2023: Souths’ Instagram reply sparks Allianz Stadium home venue saga, Sydney...

NRL 2023: Souths’ Instagram reply sparks Allianz Stadium home venue saga, Sydney Roosters

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The Rabbitohs have continued one of rugby league’s most high-profile and ongoing feuds, sending social media into a frenzy after their cheeky comment on the Roosters’ Instagram on Saturday night.

The Bunnies’ social media team were absolutely on fire to a gloating post from the Roosters, who had captioned a photo of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Joey Manu and Luke Keary appearing to leer at Rabbitohs star fullback Latrell Mitchell while piled on top of him, with the phrase “Whose house?!” after their thrilling 20-18 win against South Sydney on Friday night.

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The Bunnies’ social media team were quick to hit back, however, with an acerbic “the taxpayers’,” referencing the public stoush between the two clubs and the New South Wales state Government that exploded with the announcement of the knockdown rebuild redevelopment of the old Sydney Football Stadium in Moore Park, which served as the home of the Roosters from 1988, as well as the Rabbitohs for periods.

With South Sydney the only team in the league forced to play home matches completely outside their geographic area despite being the oldest and most storied club in the competition, outrage ensued at Redfern Oval as Souths watched their arch rivals move into a taxpayer-funded $830 million facility in the club’s heartland without the option of playing home games there themselves.

The phrase “whose house” has been a common call-and-response phrase at sporting fixtures, popularised by Run-DMC’s 1988 hip-hop hit “Run’s House”, with the Los Angeles Rams most recently being a popular exponent.

South Sydney fans continue to baulk at the Roosters’ exclusive use of the state-of-the-art facility as a home ground, with the proposed redevelopment of Souths’ own home ground, Accor Stadium, cancelled by the state government in May 2020 who pointed to a shift in budget priorities owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

South Sydney have previously called for Souths to be able to break their lease at Accor, which expires in 2030, to move to Allianz, on the basis that the lease was signed with on the condition of redevelopment.

“If the government is not going to upgrade (Accor) then we should be allowed to move,” said Souths chief executive Blake Solly in September last year.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, a Souths tragic and life member who served on the Rabbitohs board and spearheaded the club’s fight for reinstatement between 1999 and 2001, last year backed calls for the Rabbitohs to be allowed to use Allianz as a home venue.

“Of course they should be and that is just common sense,” he said in October last year.

“When the public have put in such a large amount of money of taxpayers’ funds that have gone into that stadium, it should be maximised in its use,” he said.

The new-look Allianz Stadium was opened in August last year with a blockbuster Rabbitohs-Roosters elimination final that saw seven players sin binned the first NRL fixture at the ground.

The New South Wales Sports Minister, Alister Henskens, has previously said the state Government was open to negotiation, but “won’t be railroaded into making commercial decisions through media pressure being placed on the Government.”

Henskens said in August last year that South Sydney had recommitted to Accor Stadium in agreements that “specifically made reference to the cancellation of the proposed redevelopment of Accor Stadium by the Government”.

With a state election looming within the week, the fate of the Bunnies’ tenancy at Accor may still be up in the air again if there is a change of government.

The Opposition Leader has been contacted for comment as to whether an elected Minns Government would have a different position on allowing the Rabbitohs to move to Allianz.

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