This club built on history: Maguire
After a historic and drought-breaking premiership win, South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has paid tribute to the club's rich history.
After the 30-6 win, Maguire insisted the team hadn't been burdened by the weight of history and expectations – describing the win as "one helluva special moment in time".
"Ever since I've been here we've spoken about the history of the club, it's part of what comes with Souths. The greats of Satts [John Sattler] and Ronny Coote, Bobby McCarthy, I could go on and on with all those players," Maguire said.
"They've been around us so it's been inside us since we've been here. I think it's a big part of the club, to recognise the past is a big part of what builds a club, they're a part of this along with every player that's played for Souths. The community, it's just been a ride."
Maguire thanked everyone involved with the win, from departing players to board members to fans.
"Thanks to everyone... from Ben [Te'o] and Sam [Burgess] who are leaving us. I'm not sure what Lote [Tuqiri]'s doing with his career, I reckon he's probably got another couple of years in him the way he's going but he could probably go another couple of years.
"To see what Sam did [playing through a fractured cheekbone], he's put new life in this team moving forward, for young players to see someone of Sam's calibre doing the things he's doing."
He also paid credit to club captain John Sutton and how he'd developed as a player and a person throughout the year.
He said stand-in hooker Api Koroisau, filling the sizeable boots of suspended Kiwi Test rake Issac Luke, played "an inspirational little game" after not having played in two months.
Burgess – the images of him in tears close to fulltime will be one of the lasting images of the night – said while he was "pretty emotional" in the last few minutes of the game, he had been shedding tears of joy.
"I'm just really happy and overjoyed, happy for the supporters, the board members that have been through thick and thin, I'm just really happy for them," he said.
"Playing for this club's pretty special. To win a premiership for them is probably the ultimate."
He added it will be tough to leave the club.
"I always knew it was going to be tough. I'll face that when I get to it, this next week or whatever, I'm just going to enjoy the time with the guys."
Fellow rugby-bound forward Ben Te'o said he had been similarly emotional in the final minutes of the match.
"Just knowing it's all come to an end and all the hard work's paid off. I've been playing for eight or so years, come up short plenty of times, wondered if it's not for me," Te'o said.
Skipper Sutton said the win meant everything to him.
"I've been at this club 10 years now; I'm just so proud of everyone that's got me here, Madge [Maguire], these boys, I'm so proud, I can't describe how happy I am right now. I can thank Madge for that, he really pushed me."
Sutton said he hadn't been keen on assuming the captaincy when Maguire had first suggested it to him and it hadn't yet sunk in that his name would be alongside some of the great premiership-winning Rabbitohs captains of the past.
Maguire said he knew Sutton had the ability to shape himself into the person he is right now after seeing the way he pushed other players at training.
"He had a lot of mockers prior to my time. To go through that period and achieve what he has tonight with all his teammates, it's one hell of an achievement what John's done," Maguire said.
"We've got a lot of young players coming through; he's been a big instigator along with Greg Inglis. There's more in Greg and there's more in John too. We'll cherish every minute of it."