Good things predicted for Souths' Sandow - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Good things predicted for Souths' Sandow

By Tom Wald 11/07/2008 05:28:11 PM Comments (0)

In-form South Sydney lock John Sutton has predicted rampant Rabbitohs halfback Chris Sandow to enjoy a long NRL career despite his small stature.

The in-form No.7 has enjoyed a spectacular start in the top-flight by playing a key role in turning his club's fortunes around this season.

The Rabbitohs had only claimed one victory in the opening 12 rounds before Jason Taylor took a punt on the Under-20 competition stand-out dubbed the "Aboriginal Alfie".

The Rabbitohs have since won four on the trot to revitalise their season with Sandow's form even pushing star recruit Craig Wing out to five-eighth.

"He is a rare talent, he has a great footy head on him and it has been good for him and me striking up a bit of a partnership," Sutton told AAP.

"That is good for our team and hopefully we can have a few more wins at the back end of the season."

However at just 173cm and 76kg, there are some critics waiting for the bubble to burst on the Queensland product's dream start ahead of Saturday night's clash with Parramatta at ANZ Stadium.

The 19-year-old missed seven tackles in last week's golden point win over the Bulldogs, the same as his combined tally for his first three games, in a sign that opposition sides are starting to target him.

Sutton said that Sandow's football brain and courage in defence more than made up for any physical limitations.

"He is not afraid to get in there and put his body on the line and that is a good thing about him, if he just keeps performing the way he has been going I am sure he is going to be around for a long time," he said.

Sutton wasn't surprised that Sandow had made such an immediate impression in the NRL.

"I saw him play in numerous games before us (in the Under-20s) and I saw how talented he was," he said.

"He is cool and calm and collected on the field and I was playing outside him (in his debut) against the Warriors and it wasn't a great shock for me, he has been going great guns for us."

But Sutton warned his teammates they couldn't afford to make another slow start against the ninth-placed Eels with Michael Hagan's men becoming increasingly anxious about their finals ambitions.

Eels flyer Jarryd Hayne articulated the team's desperate need to push up the ladder before the finals.

"It's not one of those ones where we can say `well there's still so many weeks left' - there's not and really at the start of the year we wanted to be more than just a top eight side," he said.

"We wanted to be more than just a top four side so we're really behind the eight ball from that perspective.

"So we've got a long way to go."

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