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Souths braced for ‘hardest task in game’ against Panthers in grand final qualifier

Jason Demetriou has instructed his South Sydney gamers to return ready for a conflict of attrition in the event that they need to knock reigning premiers Penrith off its perch.

By demolishing Cronulla on the Sydney Soccer Stadium on Saturday, Souths arrange a preliminary last — and a tantalising grand last rematch — with the Panthers at Sydney’s Olympic stadium.

In an ominous signal for his or her reunion with Penrith subsequent Saturday, full-back Latrell Mitchell and five-eighth Cody Walker remained in second gear of their 38-12 win over Cronulla, which ensured the Bunnies reached a fifth straight preliminary last.

Penrith, which has misplaced simply 4 video games all season, will come into subsequent Saturday’s recreation oozing confidence.

Their first-choice aspect has performed a recreation a fortnight over the past month, whereas Souths has been put by means of the wringer.

However whereas Mitchell cheekily stated in a post-game interview with the 9 Community he was joyful Souths have been on the “proper aspect of the draw”, coach Demetriou described the problem because the NRL equal of climbing Mount Everest.

“I believe Latrell means it is a recreation the place we’re getting them earlier than the GF,” Demetriou stated.

“They [Penrith] are a extremely motivated staff they usually work actually arduous for one another.

“We’re below no illusions that that is the toughest job within the recreation in the intervening time.

“I believe over the past three years, they have been fairly arduous to beat.

“We won’t simply assume that to beat Penrith, we are able to go set for set and hope that we are able to win 6-4 — we have got to problem the scoreboard.”

For the reason that begin of the 2020 season, Souths have solely defeated Penrith as soon as in eight makes an attempt, producing a shock upset in week one of many 2021 finals collection earlier than being pipped by the Panthers within the grand last.

A South Sydney NRL player carrying the ball grimaces as he is tackled by two players from different angles.
South Sydney’s 26-22 loss in spherical 23 was the Rabbitohs’ seventh defeat in eight matches towards the Panthers.(Getty Pictures: Cameron Spencer)

That job might get even harder with the Rabbitohs already with out suspended Tom Burgess and fellow front-rower Junior Tatola going through a nervy wait on the end result of a rooster wing sort out.

There are additionally damage issues for forwards Jai Arrow and Siliva Havili together with winger Alex Johnston.

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