It's now or never for Bunnies: Sutton - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

It's now or never for Bunnies: Sutton

By Ben Horne 06/06/2010 03:57:20 PM Comments (0)

John Sutton says South Sydney must prove over the next month that they're premiership material, starting with Monday night's danger NRL game against North Queensland at ANZ Stadium.

After the Cowboys, the Rabbitohs face tough road matches against Brisbane, Manly and Melbourne before they enjoy a bye in round 17.

Souths have beaten the Broncos just twice in eight matches at Suncorp, and have beaten the Sea Eagles just once in their past five games.

Their clash with the Storm is a home game but will be played on unfamiliar territory in Perth.

Sutton has declared the challenging period can show whether they're finals' pretenders or the real deal.

"This is the time where we've all got to step up and all show we really want to be there at the end of the season," Sutton told AAP.

"I'm really confident in the boys and I'm pretty sure they're all confident as well that we can really dig in now the next few rounds and come away with some good victories."

North Queensland have lost six of their past seven matches and are languishing at the bottom of the ladder, desperately needing a win against South Sydney.

In their loss to Manly last week, the Cowboys' right-side defence was constantly targeted and leaked points.

Winger John Williams has been dropped as a result, with Michael Bani into the side.

Sutton said attacking the edges is one of Souths' key strengths, and backed key men Sam Burgess, Dave Taylor, Colin Best and Beau Champion to again challenge the North Queensland defence out wide.

"Well, we do have a lot of strike weapons on the edges so the more we can get them some good ball and get them doing what they do best, which is running hard and playing with a bit of skill, is going to go a long way to us winning the game," he said.

Although the Cowboys are in hole, Sutton warned Monday night is a danger match for the Rabbitohs.

"They're always dangerous when Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen are in the side and especially JT after the Origin - he played unreal there and they didn't get the win last week so I'm pretty sure they'll come out fired up wanting to get a win," he said.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry said his side's right-side defence is a concern.

"Michael Morgan (rookie five-eighth) is struggling a bit down that side too defensively but he's a kid who's going to learn every time and he'll be better for the run," Henry said.

"They really roll forward and with Burgess on one side and Taylor on the other side they're a handful.

"The key to them is not letting them get down to your line too often because they'll back themselves to go over the try line from 10 or 15 metres out so territorially we need to be a bit better than we were against Manly."

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