JT’S OPIN­ION

The Weekend Post - - Front Page -

WHO DOES HE TIP?

TAR­GET the Burgess boys.

That’s what the Dragons need to do tonight to keep their pre­mier­ship dream alive.

I think South Syd­ney will prove too strong for Paul McGre­gor’s men – but they will give them­selves a fight­ing chance if they can up­set Tom, Ge­orge and Sam.

That’s how you rat­tle the Rab­bitohs and I would be go­ing af­ter all three of them.

The Burgess boys are prone to mis­takes. They can all come up with an er­ror. We saw it last week when Sam made a cou­ple of costly mis­takes against the Storm.

I would be telling the Dragons to go af­ter them.

To force mis­takes from the Burgess boys you need to tar­get them with strong con­tact. You need to go in hard and at the ball. Some­times you can force it free.

You also need to wres­tle af­ter con­tact. All three of the Burgess boys fight hard while at­tempt­ing to play the ball and there is al­ways a chance to force the ball out as they try and play it quick.

So the key for the Dragons will be heavy con­tact fol­lowed by some wres­tle. Sam can also be baited. While Tom and Ge­orge are quiet – they rarely say a word on the field – Sam is all ag­gres­sion and fire. He will come af­ter you if you stir him up.

Sam’s ag­gres­sion can be a huge as­set for the Rab­bitohs. There are few bet­ter sights in rugby league – the big fella charg­ing and bash­ing bod­ies. But his ag­gres­sion can also lead to mis­takes.

He must find a bal­ance tonight – and I ex­pect he will.

I think the Rab­bitohs will prove too strong.

South Syd­ney has strike power right across the park: the Burgess boys in the mid­dle, An­gus Creighton and John Sut­ton on the edges, and Greg Inglis and Dane Ga­gai out wide.

I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing how my mate GI goes.

He is a big-game player and he will be go­ing up against Zac Lo­max in an in­trigu­ing clash on the right edge.

Mark­ing GI will prove a huge chal­lenge for the kid – there aren’t too many tougher as­sign­ments in rugby league.

But from what I can see Lo­max has a big fu­ture and he can make a name for him­self tonight.

I think Lo­max will be very ex­cited about the chal­lenge.

He will al­ways re­mem­ber the night he went head-to­head with one of the best in the game in a sud­den death semi.

But I am ex­pect­ing to see GI at his best tonight – and what a sight it is. I love see­ing GI when he is in the mood. He ab­so­lutely rat­tles blokes with his shoul­ders when he flies out of the line and leaves them on the ground with his palm in at­tack.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Dragons I think it might be one of those nights.

Aside from forc­ing mis­takes from the South Syd­ney mid­dle, the Dragons need a big game from Ben Hunt. He faces a tough as­sign­ment with Gareth Wid­dop miss­ing.

I was highly crit­i­cal of Hunt af­ter State of Ori­gin II. I thought he could have won Queens­land the game and kept the se­ries alive. I would like noth­ing more than to see Hunty step up and de­liver the Dragons a win. And he is cer­tainly ca­pa­ble.

FIERY: Sam Burgess is a hard man on the field but that ag­gres­sion can lead to mis­takes. If the Dragons can con­tain him, they can con­tain the Rab­bitohs. Pic­ture: BRETT COSTELLO

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