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Preliminary Final - Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles: Friday 24th September 7:50pm @Suncorp Stadium

callmack1

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Staff member
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8,907
Here we go. Here we are. This is it. Once again, we've earnt the right to be in another Preliminary Final. This is what we've worked all year for and the moment has finally arrived. In fact, I'd say this is what we've been working the last three years for. It's been three years of absolute heartbreak, three years of falling short in this same game that has lead to this. Those three years have hurt us really bad yet here we are once again in 2021, confronting the exact same game where we have failed in the past but this time is different. There's no doubt we're on the edge of greatness or ridicule here and the stakes have never been higher in a Prelim as we take on an old foe in the Manly Sea Eagles. On Friday night. I said at the start of the Finals Series that every game from now on was our biggest of the year and well, this one is certainly no different. I can't put into words, the enormity of this week. This is probably the biggest game we've been in in the past four years and I don't say it lightly. Lose, and we've just missed the Grand Final for the fourth year in a row, but win, and a shot at the Premiership awaits. What's it going to be? 17 men in Red and Green will decide on Friday night. I said I'd never been this fired up in Week 1 of the Finals, well, it's going to go to a whole new level this week!!

We all know who we're up against, our old foe the Sea Eagles. So much history in this clash that stretches back over 70 years. Huge clashes, huge moments, Grand Finals and big games, our rivalry has had it all. There is a genuine dislike there and I'm sure I speak for many of us when I say I hate Manly. We've met them in a Prelim in the past in a similar situation. 2013. We all know what happened that night, probably the worst loss I can remember. Well, this time is our chance to get revenge for that. It's certainly not going to be easy. I've seen some predict that we'll march into the Grand Final with ease but I don't think it's going to be that simple at all. Manly are one hell of a side when they're on. They made the top four and are in the Prelim for a reason. After last week, they'll come into this game raring to go with a lot of momentum and they'll see themselves as a great chance to make the GF. So we have a big challenge this week if we want to finally get past this game and make that Grand Final. Standing in our way are some quality players. The Trbojevic brothers, Foran, DCE, Taupau, Olakau'atu, the list goes on and on. They have strike all over the park and can be very hard to stop if they get on a roll. The big one is obviously Tom Trbojevic. He is everything to Manly. So, stop him, shut him down and limit his effectiveness, and it'll go a long way. I think the big key is winning the forward battle though, do that and it makes it so much easier to contain Turbo. We did it against arguably a better back when we played Penrith so it's time to stand up and do it again. manly will be raring to go.

But you know what? Our boys are going to be raring to go too! For the first time in a long time, we won Week 1 and earnt the right to that week off, something we haven't done the last three years we have lost. It's huge! The boys will come into this one well rested, refreshed both mentally and physically and they'll be primed for our final push at winning Premiership number 22. They know that moment is upon them. We have to be on our game there's no doubt. I really feel like this is ours to lose. If we play our game, hold the ball, continue that defence and attack as we have been, we'll give manly a hard time. But if the nerves get to us and we're a bit off, then Manly will sense an ambush. So our destiny is really in our hands here.

As I said, this is the moment. The moment has arrived. We're on the edge of greatness or ridicule here. The boys will decide what it's going to be. The 80 minutes will decide if we are to make that Grand Final or not. I've said it before but the catch-phrase for this NRL Finals Series is 'don't blink,' and I feel that rings really true in this Prelim. We've blinked the past three years so the moment has arrived to write those wrongs, to not blink, to defy the impossible. Let's all fire up and get behind the boys this week! We can do this!!
 

Steenson123

Juniors
Messages
57
Its EARNED not "earnt"!! For the record Manly are overrated. We have the superior squad, superior forwards and in the last 14 contests we are 13-1 with the best defense of any other squad, including Bellamy. Overall we are 20-4, better than Manly. Its only the absence of Mitchell and the existence of Leatherjacket #1 [TT] that makes the betting close. However, the odds makers are not looking at the facts I quoted above. Factor in that data plus the fact the squad are hungry and fresh and if Taaffe or others don't stuff it up we will triumph running away. Bennett & Co. will have prepared several weeks for Manly and will have the right strategy for success.
 

Botany Rabbit

Juniors
Messages
34
Its EARNED not "earnt"!! For the record Manly are overrated. We have the superior squad, superior forwards and in the last 14 contests we are 13-1 with the best defense of any other squad, including Bellamy. Overall we are 20-4, better than Manly. Its only the absence of Mitchell and the existence of Leatherjacket #1 [TT] that makes the betting close. However, the odds makers are not looking at the facts I quoted above. Factor in that data plus the fact the squad are hungry and fresh and if Taaffe or others don't stuff it up we will triumph running away. Bennett & Co. will have prepared several weeks for Manly and will have the right strategy for success.
Taaffe has good hands, we only lose the raging bull quality of latrel.
Taaffe can still set up silky passes from the back.
 

BotanyBorn&Bred

Juniors
Messages
1,399
Its EARNED not "earnt"!! For the record Manly are overrated. We have the superior squad, superior forwards and in the last 14 contests we are 13-1 with the best defense of any other squad, including Bellamy. Overall we are 20-4, better than Manly. Its only the absence of Mitchell and the existence of Leatherjacket #1 [TT] that makes the betting close. However, the odds makers are not looking at the facts I quoted above. Factor in that data plus the fact the squad are hungry and fresh and if Taaffe or others don't stuff it up we will triumph running away. Bennett & Co. will have prepared several weeks for Manly and will have the right strategy for success.
I don't wanna get cocky and jinx us, but if we beat Manly, then I agree 100%
 

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
8,907
Its EARNED not "earnt"!! For the record Manly are overrated. We have the superior squad, superior forwards and in the last 14 contests we are 13-1 with the best defense of any other squad, including Bellamy. Overall we are 20-4, better than Manly. Its only the absence of Mitchell and the existence of Leatherjacket #1 [TT] that makes the betting close. However, the odds makers are not looking at the facts I quoted above. Factor in that data plus the fact the squad are hungry and fresh and if Taaffe or others don't stuff it up we will triumph running away. Bennett & Co. will have prepared several weeks for Manly and will have the right strategy for success.
Thanks for correcting my spelling mate haha.

While I completely get what you're saying, we can't get too cocky thinking we have them covered. The minute the boys think that is the minute we get our pants pulled down.

The way I see it, our Regular Season record complared to theirs means nothing now, it is all about what happens on the day and as we ourselves have proven, anything can happen in a Finals game.
 

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
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8,907
Here's my predicted line up for the Preliminary Final,

1. Taaffe
2. Johnston
3. Gagai
4. Graham
5. Paulo
6. Walker
7. Reynolds (C)
8. Nicholls
9. Cook
10. Tatola
11. Koloamatangi
12. Su'A
13. Murray

14. Marshall
15. Host
16. Burgess
17. Arrow

So basically unchanged from the Qualifying Final which is the way it should be.
 

Steenson123

Juniors
Messages
57
Thanks for correcting my spelling mate haha.

While I completely get what you're saying, we can't get too cocky thinking we have them covered. The minute the boys think that is the minute we get our pants pulled down.

The way I see it, our Regular Season record complared to theirs means nothing now, it is all about what happens on the day and as we ourselves have proven, anything can happen in a Finals game.
The master Bill Parcells always said "you are what your record says". Going 20-4 or better implies a squad and coach above the norm. Ditto for the Cleary & Bellamy outfits. Something a little special. Plus we are 13-1 in the last 14 contests and have the best defense in that span. I'm expecting a V and I expect the squad to do it running away at the finish because we have the better overall side and we are very fresh. Players have had two Bye Weeks in the past month and that should show. Fans have to exude confidence because for Cook, Walker, Gagai, Arrow et al this may be last real opportunity to win a title.
 

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
8,907

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
8,907
"At this time of year you need to get a lot of things right" - Marshall: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2021/09/21/benji-marshall-prelim-media/

"We're looking forward to the challenge" - Reynolds: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2021/09/21/prelim-media/

"To be standing here where we are now is pretty special" - Murray: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2021/09/21/cameron-murray-prelim-media/

"(Cody) wants to win every game and every little battle" - Cook: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2021/09/21/damien-cook-prelim-media/

"You can't change the past, you can only shape the future" - Walker: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2021/09/21/cody-walker-prelim-media/

"I can't wait to get out there" - Arrow: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2021/09/21/jai-arrow-prelim-media/

Wayne Bennett’s Dr Phil adamant Rabbitohs’ hoodoo can be broken: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/wa...ohs-hoodoo-can-be-broken-20210920-p58t52.html
 

Rabbits20

Immortal
Messages
38,583
Well at least we have Klein as on field ref he’s better than Atkins.

Where my main concern lies is Atkins in the bunker. I’m certain he’d love to find any reason to disallow one of our tries!
 

Rabbits20

Immortal
Messages
38,583
Yesterday Alicia Newton asked Cookie where did he go wrong in the last 3 prelims and he said if someone can tell him where he went wrong let him know so that didn’t fill me with confidence. Well I can say and I’m sure we all can his passes weren’t on the mark as much as they should be, he threw too many crash balls and didn’t run enough not enough scoots.
 

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