Things over at Redfern are just how they should be according to coach John Lang, with the Rabbitohs ideally placed as the 2010 NRL season nears the business end.
Despite the recent news that they’ll have to do without hooker Issac Luke for the next month or so, Lang knows when the public spotlight is elsewhere – it leaves the Bunnies to continue on their merry-way.
It’s a contrast to the past few seasons, where either inconsistency on the field, fights involving JT, Russell Crowe barbs or media articles about Holmes a Court and the Leagues Club – clouded their focus.
Sure, the injection of big men Dave Taylor and Sam Burgess has made a huge different to this club on the field, but given their position on the ladder and timing of the season – it’s unusually quiet for Souths. Such a popular, well-followed club – they are often heaped with massive expectations after so much pain, for so long.
So often in League and many sports, the top teams are the ones where harmony reigns. We’re not talking harmony just amongst the players, but from the top down. Right from Russell through the back-office officials, coaching staff players through to the waterboys.
Obviously winning helps, but when every aspect of a club is in sync – things continue to happen.
This is why other teams should be looking over their shoulders at the Rabbitohs this year. The early pressure heaped on Lang and his team have drifted away, a finals appearance would seemingly be an achievement for this outfit – hence, once they get there – they have nothing to lose.
Always fear an opponent with nothing to lose.
The Eels showed that last year, going from almost last on the ladder and steaming into the Grand Final on the back of carefree footy.
With the Rabbitohs having a quality points differential and a BYE in hand, they are truly looking good at the moment. With wins over big names such as the Panthers and Wests Tigers, by massive margins – this outfit knows they can not only score points, but deliver the killer blows against the bigger teams.
Thats the interesting thing for Souths, they have dropped some seemingly winnable games against lesser opponents, but look much more likely against the big name teams. An ideal trait come finals time.
The other bonus for Souths, is their ability to strike across the park. Similar to the Dragons, the Bunnies don’t rely on just one or two big name players. Almost anyone in their lineup can spark something, this is an enviable advantage.
Just ask the Cowboys, Sharks or even Parramatta – who seemingly throw the ball to a Thurston, Barrett or Hayne – who are put under enormous pressure to pull off miracles for their sides.
Souths do have a tough run home, they face the Dragons twice, Panthers, Storm and Tigers in the mix.
But even without in-form Issac Luke, a capable youngster in Falloon steps in who has enough experience in the top grade to do a good job. Falloon is fast and elusive around the ruck, a player that will add his own touch to the ever-growing juggernaut at Redfern.
No one’s talking about them right now and I’m sure they are more than happy to keep it that way until Grand Final day.