Rabbitohs second-rower Chris McQueen says that having the bye in round 15 will aid the Rabbitohs in their preparation for Saturday night’s game against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.
With McQueen and teammates Ben Te’o and Greg Inglis having served their state in Origin II, while the Rabbitohs themselves endured two bruising encounters in consecutive weeks against the Warriors and Tigers, McQueen cited the break as an opportunity for players to get their bodies right.
“I think having the bye is an ideal preparation,” said McQueen.
“Given that we had a few boys involved in Origin, it just gives us a chance to freshen up after what I think was a positive few weeks for the team by getting four wins straight. It’s important to take advantage of that opportunity to get your body right and I think we’ve done that.”
Since Head Coach Michael Maguire took the Rabbitohs reins in 2012, the side has won three of their four matches following a bye week, with McQueen confident that the Rabbitohs will continue to build momentum after the week off.
“There’s no excuse for losing momentum,” said McQueen.
“That to me is an attitude thing, so I think if you’re a well-disciplined side – as I believe we are – I think there’s no reason to lose momentum having had a week off. Like I said, we see that week as an advantage.”
Despite a number of injuries to the 11th placed Cowboys, Test players such as Johnathan Thurston, James Tamou, and Matt Scott could all line up against the red and greens on Saturday – a fact that McQueen and his teammates are not about to underestimate.
“They obviously have a pretty strong team up there,” admitted McQueen.
“They have a few injuries at the moment, but I don’t think that’s going to change their team too much, or the way they play their game – they’re still going to be really strong. Like every game, we’re going to try and prepare really well this week and head up there with the right attitude, ready to play.
“If we can do what we do well and get our defence right, that will go a long way to winning the game. They’ve got some big forwards that run pretty hard and some fast guys out on the edges, so they’ve got the ingredients to cause plenty of damage.
“But we’re going to make sure that there are 17 South Sydney players ready to do their job for this team.”
To find out more about the Rabbitohs’ round 16 clash with the Cowboys in Townsville, please click here.