Opposing wingers, Alex Johnston and Antonio Winterstein, both outlined the need for their respective teams to get their games right ahead of this Thursday night’s blockbuster top-four clash between the Rabbitohs and Cowboys in Townsville.
With the Cowboys sitting on 34 competition points, the Rabbiths in fourth spot on 28 points and a month of regular season football ahead, both teams will be looking to get their structures and game-plans right in Townsville after going down in their respective Round 22 encounters.
“The Cowboys are on top of the table and they’re playing good footy,” said Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston this week in preparation for the clash.
“Every team this year is a good side – everyone’s close and no game is an easy game.”
The Rabbitohs will be looking to improve on their Round 22 game against the Sea Eagles – a match that saw the red and green’s go down by 28-8 at Brookvale Oval – the winger this week pointing to ball-control and energy as areas to improve upon.
“A lot of lost ball and stuff like that didn’t help,” said Johnston about the clash.
“We’ve just got to learn from that and go into Thursday’s game with a lot more energy.
“As we always say, we’re focussed on each week and we’ve just got to focus on getting the win against the Cowboys.”
Meanwhile, the North Queenslanders also went down in Round 22 to the tune of 30-18 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.
Winterstein – the man Johnston will mark up on this week – emphasised that his team will be looking to improve defensively against the Rabbitohs after leaking 30 points.
“I think discipline in defence,” said Winterstein.
“We gave away a lot of penalties and piggy-backed them down the field. It just comes down to communication and defence and tackling with our shoulders.
“We didn’t execute our roles on the field and that showed on the score-board.”
The opposing wingers will line up as part of formidable back-three combinations for their teams, with Johnston playing alongside the likes of Greg Inglis and Aaron Gray, while Winterstein will play a vital role for the Cowboys kick-return team with Lachlan Coote and Matthew Wright.