Henjak shifts pressure onto Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak shifts pressure onto Dragons

By Wayne Heming 15/09/2009 07:22:13 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak moved to shift the heat onto St George by reminding his semi-final rivals they could become the first minor premiers to bow out of the finals without a win since the McIntyre system was introduced a decade ago.

Saturday night's loser can kiss the season goodbye.

Henjak showed he could play the finals game on Tuesday, suggesting there was no pressure on his players because six weeks ago they'd been widely written off as grand final winners.

"Everything for us is a bonus at the moment," said Henjak, who's faced with his own hurdle of turning around Brisbane's 0-6 home finals record since 1995.

"There is a lot of expectation on them because they've been waiting such a long time.

"They're the minor premiers and premiership favourites from what they've done during the year.

"I think they're the ones with the most pressure on them.

"They're minor premiers. I don't think there's been a minor premier who has gone out the back door (two successive losses) under this system, so there's a little bit of pressure involved."

The Dragons have lost four of their last five games but Henjak and his players know first hand how teams can come back quickly.

"We certainly can't approach it like they're done on confidence and that they're not going to be at their best," he said.

"We've got no right to take anyone lightly, especially in a semi-final."

Henjak, who has the experience of being part of the club's coaching staff for Brisbane's last three premierships, admitted to feelings of deja vu about 2006 when the Broncos upset Melbourne in the grand final.

"There's certainly similarities," he said.

"We won 14 games in the competition rounds as we did in 2006; we had a bad run as we did in 2006; we're injury free nearly as we were in 2006, so there are similarities.

"We probably haven't got the experience in certain positions in the forwards (Shane Webcke and Brad Thorn) as we had in 2006 which is a little different and we've probably got a tougher run than 2006 to get there."

If Brisbane win this weekend they have to play Melbourne in Melbourne to make it through to the grand final in Sydney on October 4.

"If we get there, we'll know we deserve to be there," said Henjak.

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