It’s all about playing in the Finals according to Rabbitohs forward, Kyle Turner, as his side prepares to take on the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in Sunday’s Elimination Final at Allianz Stadium.
“This is what we all play for – to be a part of this time of year,” said Turner.
“You want to be involved in the business end of the season, and there’s so much excitement in the team at the moment because we all understand that not everyone in the competition gets to be a part of this time of year.
“You start out with 16 teams and now it’s down to eight, so we’re feeling pretty good at the moment and looking forward to putting our best foot forward and making the most of the opportunity.”
Victory on Sunday afternoon will propel the Rabbitohs into the Semi Finals in Week 2 of the NRLs Series, with their opposition set to be either the North Queensland Cowboys or the Brisbane Broncos in Queensland.
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But Turner and his teammates aren’t looking any further than what is ahead of them – beginning with a good week of training at Redfern in preparation for Cronulla.
“It’s just about being focussed on what’s in front of you as a team and all the little one percenters that you can do because they’re the things that can make the difference in the end,” said Turner.
“All of that starts at training and we’ve been focussing on that this week.”
After spending the majority of the season on the sideline owing to a neck-injury that required surgery, Turner has found his place in Michael Maguire’s starting side, and solidified himself as a vital cog in the Rabbitohs defensive line.
Just five games back into his top-flight career post-surgery, Turner has regularly topped the tackle count for the red and greens, averaging 31.2 tackles a game.
“I’ve just been going out to do my role for the team,” said Turner.
“For me, it’s about making my tackles and keeping my work-rate high – I’ve been pleased so far, but there’s obviously always room for improvement and there’s no better time to step up than in the Finals.”
Sharks Coach Shane Flanagan has opted to take his starting 13 from Round 26 into Week 1 of the Finals, while also being bolstered by the return of brothers Andrew and David Fifita, in addition to boasting Ben Barba on an eclectic, extended bench.
“They’re a good team, Cronulla,” said Turner.
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“They’ve got plenty of dangerous players across the field – Valentine Holmes, Jack Bird and Michael Gordon. They’ll definitely be hungry this week, but so will we.
“The same reward is on the line for both teams, so we’ve got to bring our A game and bring plenty of energy.”
And with Sunday’s match being played at Moore Park’s Allianz Stadium, Turner has urged Rabbitohs Members and supporters to again turn up in numbers to help his team over the line in a rare Sunday afternoon clash for his side.
“It’s been awesome to see the support this year for sure,” admitted Turner.
“There’s that much red and green around during this time of year, and being a Sunday arvo, I’m pretty sure it won’t be any different this week.”
The Rabbitohs will take on the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in Week 1 of the NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series at Allianz Stadium this Sunday with kick-off slated for 4.10pm. Purchase your tickets!