Rabbitohs bank on unsung heroes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rabbitohs bank on unsung heroes

Justin Chadwick 23/06/2011 05:55:17 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney coach John Lang believes his side's horror run of injuries could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

The veteran mentor claims the efforts of several of the Rabbitohs' young, unsung heroes have kept their NRL finals hopes alive and bodes well for the club's future.

Souths, who occupy 11th spot on the ladder but are only two points behind eighth-placed Newcastle, have been hit hard by injuries to their forwards, with skipper Roy Asotasi and fellow prop options Scott Geddes, Sam Burgess and Luke Stuart all sidelined.

Lang heaped praise on emerging talents such as Nathan Peats, Chris McQueen, Shannan McPherson, Dave Tyrrell and Jason Clark, who have all stepped up to help Souths post three wins in their past six games.

"In the end I think some of the young guys coming in have really been the ones that have turned our season around to a certain degree," Lang said ahead of Friday's clash with Brisbane in Perth.

"Someone like Jason Clark was a fringe player last year. Young Peats for example, he was a part-time player during summer. They've just got that hunger and that drive and I think it's rubbed off on a lot of the other players.

"Chris McQueen ... he's starting in the back row at the moment and doing a pretty good job.

"Tyrrell, an ex-winger who's playing in the middle at the moment. They've been a bit of a revelation for us.

"In some ways all of our injury problems have been sort of good for us in the fact that we've found out what we have to do to win games consistently instead of trying to rely on your big-time players to pull it out for you."

Lang said it was unfair to label the Rabbitohs as a side that relied too heavily on their big-name players.

"Everyone's looking (and saying) oh Sam Burgess is going to save our bacon, or Dave Taylor or whatever," Lang said.

"I think it's been a bit of a thing at Souths over the last 10 years.

"It's a bit like the Life of Brian. Everybody's been lookingfor the Messiah. So now we've got all of these naughty little boys who aren't doing a bad job for us."

Broncos skipper Darren Lockyer said he and fit-again centre Justin Hodges were ready to deal with Rabbitohs stars Greg Inglis and Taylor.

"I tried to ring both Dave and Greg earlier in the week because they'll be running down mine and Justin's side," Lockyer said.

"(So I wanted to tell them) just to take things a bit easier (in what would be) a bit of a gentlemen's agreement, but they didn't pick up!

"We won't be out there making it easy for each other that's for sure. There's two points up for grabs and both teams would like them."

The Broncos were dealt a late blow when Test winger Jharal Yow Yeh failed to make the trip to Perth due to tonsillitis, paving the way for Dale Copley to come into the side.

More than 15,000 fans are expected to pack out nib Stadium for the match and Lockyer said it made sense for Perth to be granted their own NRL side when the league decided to expand.

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