Rabbitohs fullback, Greg Inglis, has branded the 2014 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series a ‘whole new competition,’ ahead of this Friday night’s opener against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Allianz Stadium.
It’s second plays third on Friday night in what will be the third time the two teams come together during 2014. But while admitting that his Rabbitohs had learnt plenty from their two encounters with the Sea Eagles, as far as Inglis is concerned, the slate has been wiped clean.
“That competition is finished,” said Inglis.
“It’s a new comp now, especially heading into the finals series. We learnt a lot of lessons from that point (the Rabbitohs’ round 22 victory over the Sea Eagles at the SCG) and throughout the year – all the teams are on the same level from here on in.
“All we’re doing now is solely focussing on this week against Manly. They’re a high quality side – they have been for the last few years now and they know what it’s like to turn up the heat in finals footy.
“We’ve just got to really concentrate on what we’ve got to do in this week’s preparation and put in a good performance.”
Inglis’ opposite number, Brett Stewart, was a late scratching from the Sea Eagles’ round 26 clash with the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville last week owing to injury. But for the Rabbitohs fullback, the loss of any player at this time of year won’t affect any team’s potency as Souths look to secure a spot in the Preliminary Final for the third successive year.
“Everyone’s got injuries at this time of year – they’re definitely not vulnerable,” said the Rabbitohs fullback of the Sea Eagles.
“They do have a lot of strike-power and they can turn it up when their backs are against the wall, so they’re going into this week with high confidence I’m sure.
“Everyone’s got to turn that extra heat up and that’s just the way it’s going to be.”