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