Bunnies look to share Asotasi's load - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bunnies look to share Asotasi's load

By Steve Jancetic 12/08/2009 07:54:21 PM Comments (0)

Thirteen hit-ups, 116 metres and 26 tackles.

That's what the eight forwards charged with shouldering injured South Sydney skipper Roy Asotasi's workload will have to come up with if the Rabbitohs are to keep their finals charge alive against Gold Coast on Friday night.

Asotasi's Kiwi international team-mate David Fa'alogo has been shifted to fill in at prop, but stand-in captain Luke Stuart claims making up for what Asotasi brought to the table, before his season was cut short by a knee injury, was not a job for one player.

And he's called on all eight forwards, including bench trio Shannan McPherson, Dave Tyrrell and Scott Geddes to share the load.

"That's going to have be divided up by a number of players and everyone's going to have to contribute more," Stuart said of the void.

"JT (coach Jason Taylor) talks about being a man and doing manly things - I guess one of those things is looking at yourself individually and looking at your game at what you can improve."

Stuart credited much of the Rabbitohs' late season success to their improved mental focus.

He admitted the Bunnies of 2008 and even early 2009 would have caved in against Manly last weekend after going down 12-0 early, the new found resolve helping turn the deficit into a 36-22 win over the Sea Eagles which pushed Souths to within one win of the NRL top eight.

It's a stunning turnaround when you consider the lows the club fell to when their finals dreamed appeared dead and buried following a humiliating 54-20 loss to Wests Tigers in round 17.

"I think you can put the way we responded to being blown away at the start (against Manly) to just the guys' attitude and mentally what they were prepared to do," Stuart said.

"I think that's been the big improvement between last season and this season and also where we were a month ago.

"I don't think you necessarily have to go through tough times like we did to improve, but that's the road we went down and hopefully we're out of that now.

"There's still lots to improve on - if we're to make the finals it's going to need to be done over the next three or four weeks."

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