And so it begins. The NRL Finals series got underway when the Sydney Roosters lost to the Melbourne Storm. Never mind. The only match that really matters is Souths game against The Cronulla Sharks on Sunday. I’m sure all Rabbitohs supporters will keep their eyes pealed on the other results. Every team has a lot to play for in The Finals and the stage is set for quality football in September.
There’s no doubt about it that South Sydney deserve to be in The Top 8. They’re definitely better than half the teams in the competition, but when it comes to the other teams in The Finals I’m not quite sure how we match up against a lot of them. I think 7th was a fair indicator of how our season panned out in the end. It’s true, the majority of teams above Souths have performed better than us this season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t beat those teams when it counts. I’m convinced that when we come up against Cronulla we’ll be more than ready to take them on. It helps having a load of experience when it comes to big games. The Sharks have a lot of young talent who haven’t touched the footy in a Finals scenario.
We’ve never played Cronulla in any type of regular season finals match-up and I’m quite thankful that we drew Cronulla in the first week. The only teams I would be real comfortable in beating are Cronulla and St George. It’s our time to really step up to this occasion and put the competition on notice. As South Sydney fans we know it hasn’t been the best of years, but there’s still that sense of belief that we can win and win big when it counts.
I’d like to think of The Finals as a fresh start and a small mini season. A lot of our players are suffering from niggling injuries, but that’s no excuse as a lot of other players from different teams are suffering as well. Greg Inglis is the main person I’m quite excited to see run around again. It wasn’t that long ago that he had surgery and he will no doubt play a big part to capturing glory in the first weekend of October. George Burgess, John Sutton and Issac Luke are all out due to injuries and suspension and this may cost us. This paves the way for Cameron McInnes, Dave Tyrrell and Chris McQueen to take their positions in the starting side.
If we want to win this game we have to muscle up in the forwards. A big part of Souths’ campaign last season was the use of our big pack. Recently it seems like they’re struggling in their power plays and being able to match it with the best. Cronulla have one of the biggest packs in the comp. Personally, I would say they have the largest. The bad news for Souths is that Andrew Fifita will be playing this weekend. As soon as our forwards can muscle up we should have a shot. This will pave the platform for our young backs to take control against an ageing, inexperienced Cronulla backline.
How will South Sydney win this match?
Which match-up on the paddock are you looking forward to seeing?
Will Greg Inglis be at his absolute best?