Souths' NRL season 'on roller coaster' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths' NRL season 'on roller coaster'

By Ben Horne and Steve Jancetic 04/09/2010 02:34:14 PM Comments (0)

Sunday will be an emotional roller coaster for South Sydney players, with their NRL season teetering on the precipice.

When they wake up in the morning the Bunnies will still have no idea whether they'll be playing for a top eight position against St George Illawarra at 7pm that evening, and it's a long wait until then.

Brisbane went agonisingly close to toppling Canberra on Friday, another result which would have opened an avenue for Souths to sneak into the playoffs.

But the Raiders' win means they now have only one hope.

At 3pm everyone from Russell Crowe to Reggie the team's mascot will cross their fingers, toes and Rabbit ears praying that Canterbury can upset Manly at Brookvale Oval and give them something to play for later on.

If the Bulldogs win then Souths will have to immediately put their game faces on, knowing that if they beat the Dragons and make up less than 10 points in for and against, they can steal a finals berth.

However if the Sea Eagles claim victory, the Rabbitohs will need to overcome the huge psychological letdown and deal with the fact they are playing for pride and that their strong squad has squandered a golden opportunity to make the finals.

"All we can control is what we do on Sunday regardless of the result, whether it's to get into the eight or whether it's for pride to finish the season off strong," said Souths skipper, Roy Asotasi.

"It would be good (to be in with a chance) but that's something we can't control so we've just got to focus ... it could be our last week or we could have an extra, but the main thing is we just have to win Sunday against the Dragons who are the benchmark side and if we do well there then who knows?

"We've had plenty of opportunities to sneak into the eight and I guess this is our last chance, our last shot at it."

St George Illawarra captain Ben Hornby said his side still need some last minute fine-tuning before the NRL playoffs, and for that reason will resist the temptation to rest key players against Souths at WIN Jubilee Oval.

The Dragons have already sewn up the minor premiership and regardless of what happens in the final around against the Rabbitohs, they'll be back at Kogarah the following Sunday to play finals football and hopefully earn themselves a valuable week's break.

Hornby admitted that putting players on ice for the match was discussed, but in the end the Dragons decided they didn't want to risk continuity.

"A little bit, but at the end of the day we still want to go out there and play well - you don't want to get out of any rhythm at this stage," Hornby said.

"It's all about fine-tuning your combinations - if you give blokes a week off they've got to take another week sometimes to get that back.

"It's just about fine-tuning now and trying to get your game the best you can.

"We'll put out a pretty strong side. I think everyone wants to get a bit of game time before the finals."

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