Dragons thank Bunnies for saving season - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons thank Bunnies for saving season

By Steve Jancetic 05/09/2009 11:19:46 AM Comments (0)

From Wayne Bennett to the South Sydney Rabbitohs - 'thank you for the hiding which may have saved St George Illawarra's NRL premiership campaign'.

The veteran Dragons mentor credited the 41-6 thumping the Rabbitohs handed the red and whites at ANZ Stadium last Saturday night as the perfect wake-up call for his side, a stark reality check for a team which had dropped from premiership favouritism on the back of three straight losses.

But boy did they re-emerge in emphatic fashion at WIN Jubilee Oval on Friday night, dishing out a 37-0 trouncing of a previously red-hot Parramatta to claim the minor premiership and once again stamp themselves as the team to beat in 2009.

"We didn't get beaten last week we got embarrassed and I think that was the catalyst for everybody to have a look at themselves and realise they've got their head out of the sky and come back to reality," Bennett said.

"(The narrow losses) tend to gloss it over, sugarcoat it, a bit of denial about it, but when you get a good trouncing and you show no real enthusiasm out there or commitment as a footy team, it's a real eye-opener and it does the job most times.

"They knew what the formula was and they had to get back to doing it.

"I was pretty confident it would happen this week - they were running out of time, it had to happen this week, they knew that."

For skipper Ben Hornby, the formula was simple.

"We went back to what we'd done all year which was control the ball and build pressure," he said.

"It's that simple.

"We just wanted to play the footy we knew we could play - we never lost confidence in ourselves - you don't go from being a good side to a bad side in a couple of weeks."

The result set up a possible re-match between the two sides next Sunday in the first week of the finals series.

That match is slated to again be at WIN Jubilee Oval, but there is reportedly pressure being applied by the NRL to move the fixture to the much bigger Sydney Football Stadium to cater for a larger crowd.

Preferring to enjoy the moment, Bennett left that decision for others to make.

"That's not my call ... if they try telling us to play somewhere else that's up to them," Bennett said.

"I'm not going to buy into it."

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