Rabbitohs preparing 'for a grand final' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rabbitohs preparing 'for a grand final'

By Ian McCullough 21/08/2009 06:13:38 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney centre Colin Best says the Rabbitohs are preparing for Saturday's crunch NRL clash with 10th-placed Penrith as if it were a grand final.

With three games of the season remaining, nothing less then victory will mark back-to-back seasons of failure for the Rabbitohs, who sit in 12th, and Best said the players are desperate to not let another year end in frustration.

Souths are currently three points out of the eight and are expected to need to win their remaining three games to make the finals.

"If we lose I don't think we can make the semis and if we win we are right back in it so it is probably our biggest and most important game of the season, and it probably is for Penrith as well," Best told AAP.

"We are treating it as a grand final and now we need to all step up. Missing out on the finals will definitely be seen as a failure with the players we have in our side."

Souths have bounced back well from a mid-season slump that threatened to send them into freefall.

Best said a clear the air meeting between the players and coach Jason Taylor helped get the team back on track.

"We were really struggling there for a bit and not playing anywhere near to our abilities and we had to have a hard look at ourselves," he said.

"Had we not gone through that run we would be in a much healthier state now and you can't help but think back and wonder what might have been.

"But we won well at Manly and were unlucky against the Titans but make no mistake we will be fired up for Penrith."

Injuries have struck Souths in key areas for the CUA Stadium clash with inspirational forwards Roy Asotasi (cruciate ligaments) and Michael Crocker (ankle) both sidelined.

Taylor's side is also depleted in the backs with Craig Wing (hamstring), centre Beau Champion (broken hand) and free-scoring winger Fetuli Talinoa (knee) all ruled out.

However, Best believes these injuries can act as an inspiration to a Souths side who seem to revel in the role of underdogs.

"We have lost a few players but I know from experience what it is like to come into a side, you have a spring in your step, a point to prove to the coach and the guys coming in will be desperate to make their mark," he said.

"We have had some great results this season when nobody has given us a chance, beating Manly, Newcastle and Brisbane and I think it suits us better than when we are favourites.

"I don't know why that is, but I know that Penrith will be wary of us.

"As a team there is a bit of nervous excitment around the place, but these are the sort of games you want to play in and hopefully we can come away with the two points and keep the season alive."

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