Broncos coach raps Souths as NRL form side - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos coach raps Souths as NRL form side

Wayne Heming 27/08/2011 03:12:50 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin is the second NRL coach to come out and declare South Sydney the NRL's form side after Melbourne mentor Craig Bellamy earlier this week said they could win the premiership.

Brisbane's chances of finishing second and earning a double chance in the finals evaporated on a spiteful Friday night at Brookvale Oval.

But Griffin has promised the lost opportunity will not change the mindset of his players against an in-form Rabbitohs on Sunday so close to the finals.

Souths have won their past four games and beat Brisbane earlier this season in the slush in Perth.

Coach John Lang has cleared try-scoring specialist Nathan Merritt, Greg Inglis, John Sutton and big Dave Taylor to play but captain Roy Asotasi will have to wait another week before making a comeback from his wrist injury.

Griffin joined Bellamy in acknowledging Souths late revival after injury hurt them early in the season.

"I think they're the form team of the competition at the moment, the way they've been able to get themselves off the canvas against teams like St George and the Cowboys and really throw caution to the wind with their attack," he said on Saturday.

"It tells you they're really confident and they're backing themselves."

Griffin said with so much strike power across the field, Souths were an extremely hard team to prepare to play.

"They just have so many players with so much individual brilliance like (Chris) Sandow, Inglis, Taylor and Merritt.

"Those guys are really hard to defend on their own, particularly when they're teaming up together.

"Souths have been in really good form and some of their players are in career-best form.

"I think the theatre of tomorrow is that everyone wants to see what Souths do."

If their attack is on song, Souths could seriously set Brisbane's finals push back should they run up a big score on them in front of an expected crowd of 45,000.

They were able to get one up on Brisbane earlier this year, winning their promotional clash in Perth in atrocious conditions in ankle-deep water at NIB Stadium in round 16.

With steady rain falling, there's a possibility Suncorp Stadium could be scuffed up a little following the rugby union Test between Australian and New Zealand on Saturday night, but Griffin said it wouldn't be anything like their last meeting in in the west.

"That was bathtub over there," he laughed.

While the spotlight has been on the try-scoring and match-winning feats of Merritt and Sandow, Griffin said Rabbitohs forwards like captain Michael Crocker and Ben Ross had been the key to Souths late finals surge.

"You don't win games of football unless your forwards are doing a great job for you," he said.

"Crocker and Ben Ross, those types of guys have held them together. They're probably the unsung heroes in the way they've been going."

Unfortunately, Justin Hodges (hamstring) will miss the game denying fans a great match-up with Inglis who turned his back on the chance to sign with the Broncos before the 2011 season to play for Souths.

"Hodgo will be back running on Monday or Tuesday and the medical staff are very happy withy his progress," said Griffin.

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