Trial quartered to avoid boiling Bunnies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Trial quartered to avoid boiling Bunnies

By Todd Balym 03/02/2009 03:50:03 PM Comments (0)

Sunday's opening NRL trial match at Redfern will be played as quarters to help combat the expected near 40 degrees temperatures in Sydney.

South Sydney coach Jason Taylor said he will use as many as 20 players in the Rabbitohs' first game of 2009 when they tackle Wests Tigers in a front of capacity 'members only' crowd.

Extra trainers will also be available to ensure the predicted heatwave conditions don't affect the players' health.

"The players are excited, the ground will be full with members only so we are very excited about it," said Taylor.

"We will use over 20 players and it is a four quarter match.

"Obviously we will put extra trainers on with water and things like that. It is important because obviously we don't want to have anybody have some sort of heat issue."

While Taylor won't play all his stars, Tigers coach Tim Sheens has said both Benji Marshall and new English recruit Gareth Ellis will play on Sunday.

The February 8 clash is one of the earliest NRL trials of the year and is one of three preseason games for Taylor's Bunnies.

They will play Penrith in Coffs Harbour next week followed by the Charity Shield against Wayne Bennett's St George Illawarra side at ANZ Stadium on February 28.

Souths won last year's clash 24-20 and speaking at the Charity Shield launch on Tuesday both Bennett and Taylor revealed they would field full strength sides for this year's encounter.

"We love the Charity Shield. It is always against a team that is pretty close to full strength," said Taylor.

"(But) it will still be a game we will be working hard on putting into practice things we've worked on since last November.

"We want a really strong performance in the Charity Shield to carry that onto round one."

Taylor said the club's main goal for 2009 would be to improve consistency after last year's horror start ended any hopes of replicating their 2007 run to the finals.

"I just want us to fulfill our potential this year," he said.

"I just want us to be playing as well as we can each week.

"That is the goal and if we do that we will get a good result at the end of the year. We let ourselves down in that area last year."

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