Pressure release created Rabbitohs NRL run - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pressure release created Rabbitohs NRL run

David Beniuk 18/08/2011 05:14:20 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney five-eighth John Sutton says the Rabbitohs juggernaut has been the result of the NRL side taking the pressure off itself.

Expectations were high for Souths as the season kicked off, but they hadn't won three straight games in 2011 until last Sunday's 47-18 thumping of Canberra.

The Rabbitohs have piled on 137 points in three weeks and began their audacious bid for a finals berth by coming back from 20-0 down against premiers St George Illawarra at their Wollongong fortress.

Fullback Nathan Merritt has bagged eight tries in the Rabbitohs' past two games and the manner of their recent victories had halfback Chris Sandow declaring other clubs should fear his resurgent side.

All because the pressure came off, says Sutton.

"For the last month or so, we've just been trying to concentrate on it game by game and haven't really thought we've got to win every game," Sutton said.

"There hasn't been that much pressure on us and we've just been going out there and playing footy.

"We've got players like Chrissy (Sandow) and Merro (Nathan Merritt) who enjoy just playing footy with no structure so it's been going good."

Souths might have had nothing to lose but now it's how they respond to renewed expectations that will determine whether they give the top eight a shake or their revival peters out.

A fairytale finish could be on the line in each of the last three weeks of the regular season, beginning with Friday night's massive game against North Queensland.

The Rabbitohs can join eighth-placed Newcastle on 26 points with a win, then sit back and watch rivals Canterbury (24 points) and the Knights take on high-flyers Manly and Brisbane respectively.

"At the moment, everyone's confident because we've won three in a row but we can't get ahead of ourselves," Sutton said.

"We're still not in the eight and we still have to win every single game.

"Hopefully this week, we go out there and play the way we've been attacking and lift our 'D' (defence)."

The fourth-placed Cowboys could find themselves as low as seventh on the ladder by the end of the weekend but have been boosted by the availability of hookers Aaron Payne and James Segeyaro, who were under injury clouds.

Neil Henry's side travel to ANZ Stadium having lost two on the trot and with an underdone Johnathan Thurston, who made his comeback after six weeks on the sidelines in last week's 34-16 loss to Brisbane.

"He might be a little bit rusty but he's a champion player," Sutton said.

"He knows what to do to get his team up. He's a fierce competitor, so we'll be expecting the best from him and hopefully we can shut him down."

Favourites with the punters, Souths hold a 3-1 advantage over the Cowboys in the clubs' matches at ANZ Stadium.

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