They may be refreshed and relaxed after a week off but South Sydney were in Bill Lawry-like straight bat mode on Sunday ahead of Friday's NRL preliminary final against Manly.

Just 80 minutes away from the foundation's club's first grand final since 1971, John Sutton tried to claim he's not once thought about what it would be like to end the Rabbitohs' four decade-long premiership drought.

Halfback Adam Reynolds gave slightly more away and said looking after his two young children meant he didn't have time to ponder the prospect of playing in the big one on October 6.

It may be hard to believe, but it's easy to see why coach Michael Maguire insists his players don't stray away from thinking about the job at hand - with the feeling of expectation around the club reaching fever pitch.

Council-erected Rabbitohs banners are already adorning streets in traditional South Sydney strongholds in anticipation of the biggest game since the club were re-admitted to the NRL in 2002.

Only a weary Manly side, who the Rabbitohs have beaten twice this season, stand between Souths and a first decider appearance in 42 years.

However, Sutton insisted their season would end in heartbreak if they took their eye off the prize.

"We've been taking it one game at a time and that is the same mentality we will take into this game," Sutton said.

"When you've been doing it for 27 rounds this season it's pretty easy."

Manly players were doing their best to heap the pressure on Souths after clambering over Cronulla on Friday, claiming they had the huge advantage going into the game after a two-week break.

The Sea Eagles are also sweating over injuries to Brett Stewart (hamstring), Jamie Lyon (leg) and Anthony Watmough (knee).

All three are facing a battle to be fit but Sutton refused to buy into any suggestions his side have the upper hand.

"They've been doing it for years and they are a very tough team, but we just have to do what we have to do," Sutton said.

"They've both been very hard games and it doesn't matter any more that we've beaten them."

Reynolds said Souths' win over Melbourne to qualify for the preliminary final was a confidence-booster, but insisted the performance has already been put on the back-burner.

"It thought it was a good display from us," Reynolds said.

"Across the park everyone played well and gave us a bit of confidence but it's behind us now."

He also refused to buy into claims Manly will find it hard to resist Souths' fearsome forward pack given the physical toll their last two games will have taken on them.

"You can't fault Manly, they always turn up for one another and have been in these types of game so many times before," he said.


Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.




If you have any questions or concerns please email us on


  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.