Taylor back on fire for Rabbitohs in NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Taylor back on fire for Rabbitohs in NRL

By Justin Chadwick 25/06/2011 05:03:59 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney coach John Lang is confident Dave Taylor won't return to his bad old ways after watching the powerful forward inspire the Rabbitohs to a 16-12 NRL victory over Brisbane in Perth.

Taylor, who has battled weight and fitness problems throughout his career, was criticised by league great Gorden Tallis last month for his lack of dedication to the game.

But the 22-year-old has been solid ever since, defying the driving rain and water-logged pitch on Friday night to make a flurry of important breaks against the Broncos.

Taylor is set to play an important role for Queensland in the State of Origin decider on July 6 and Lang believes he has finally found the formula to be a consistent success.

"Dave's on fire," Lang said.

"It's hard to make breaks or even make strong surging runs (in that weather) because you are so worried about ball control.

"Dave burst his way through two or three times.

"He's really playing well. I don't think Dave will go back to his old bad habits. I think he'll kick on from here."

The Rabbitohs scored two tries in the opening 10 minutes but were forced to hang for dear life in the final 20 minutes as the Broncos made a fierce push for victory.

"I reckon that's the best win we've had since I've been here. It was a real gutsy effort," a proud Lang said.

"We had to defend for about 20 minutes and, if the boys had backed off an inch, they would have been all over us and I just thought it was an absolute fantastic team effort."

Lang said star back Greg Inglis was also starting to regain his touch after a recent hip injury.

"He's been really focused, a big effort," Lang said.

"He'd been out for four weeks, played one game, played the State of Origin, backed up and played well two days later. I think GI will go from strength from strength from here.

"He's in the zone."

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin said his team's poor start cost them victory.

"They were just prepared to play tougher, wet weather football than us in that first period of the game," Griffin said.

"And then from then on, in those conditions when you're down 12-0 and chasing your tail, I thought we did a good job to get ourselves back in the game.

"But we needed to start better."

Despite the horrible conditions, 15,371 fans still flocked to the game in what will surely send a strong message to the NRL that Western Australia is ready for a local team.

"I've been a part of this now for three years and each year it's got better and better," Lang said of the trip west.

"We got here two hours before the game and there were a significant amount of people walking to the ground and it had that real big-match feel about it.

"I think it shows, for the people over here, they have an interest in rugby league."

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