Chris McQueen says South Sydney have learned lessons from their loss to Wests Tigers and warned other sides provocation will not work.
South Sydney’s Chris McQueen has warned opposing teams provoking the Rabbitohs’ giant forwards shouldn’t be used as a tactic to try to beat them.
Souths face a Canberra side with a huge pack on Sunday at ANZ Stadium and Raiders coach Ricky Stuart is sure to have taken note of how the Wests Tigers wound up the Bunnies’ big men George and Sam Burgess on their way to a 25-16 triumph last Friday.
However, Queensland back-rower McQueen said lessons were learned from that loss, which saw three players charged by the match review committee, and said coach Michael Maguire this week drove home the importance of maintaining discipline.
“They got under our skin a bit and we’ve had a talk about that,” McQueen said.
“We love that aggression and want to keep it, but we have to be smarter with it.
“We are aware that teams are trying to get to us. But we are fine with that sort of thing.
“If that’s what they want to do then we’re not worried by it and happy to let them do that.”
Souths face a Raiders side that are a byword for inconsistency having followed up a fine win in Newcastle with an insipid second-half display in losing at home to the Gold Coast last Sunday.
Defeat for the Rabbitohs, would be the first time since Maguire’s arrival in 2012 they will have lost three on the spin.
Although Greg Inglis has recovered from the concussion that saw his withdrawn after five minutes against the Tigers, but Souths are without Issac Luke, who’s recovering from a shoulder injury that will sideline him for at least a month.
Rookie rake Apisai Koroisau will make his NRL debut on Sunday and having helped Fiji reach the semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup, there’s plenty of confidence at Redfern that he can fill the big hole left by Luke’s absence.
Earlier this week Inglis, who faced Koroisau twice in Australia’s successful World Cup campaign, said the 22-year-old is good enough to potentially usurp the New Zealand international as the No.1 hooker.
And Maguire shares his fullback’s confidence and has no concerns about putting him straight in the side.
“Issac is a big loss,” Maguire said.
“But it’s also an opportunity for young Api. He’s been very patient, working very very hard behind Isaac.
“He fully deserves and opportunity and he’s going to come in and do a great job.”