Canterbury fullback Sam Perrett says he knows what to expect from Greg Inglis in Sunday’s NRL grand final.
Canterbury fullback Sam Perrett is acutely aware of what the worst case scenario could be for him in Sunday’s NRL grand final marking South Sydney superstar Greg Inglis.
It happened to Perrett when he was 18 and Inglis was 15 at a national schoolboy carnival, and the underrated Bulldogs No.1 has never forgotten.
“I was on the wing playing for Queensland Schoolboys and he palmed off a couple of our players and I was last line of defence,” Perrett recalls of coming face-to-face with a young, rangy Inglis who was representing NSW.
“He did a chip-and-chase right over my head and I was caught flat footed watching and admiring.
“There wasn’t as much of him back then as there is now .. but he was the young gun out there and he was fantastic.”
On paper, most pundits believe South Sydney boast the superior side to the Bulldogs.
But with all due respect to Perrett, Mitch Brown and Corey Thompson, the biggest mismatch involves the back three.
Up against future immortal Inglis, boom rookie Alex Johnston and dual international Lote Tuqiri, the Bulldogs would appear vulnerable at the back and on the flanks.
But Canterbury’s unglamorous trio led by winger-turned-fullback Perrett have managed to prove the critics wrong from round one right up to the grand final.
The Bulldogs were actively shopping for a fullback through the first half of the season, and speculation suggests they’re on the hunt for a new custodian for next season.
However, Perrett – who believes he’s learnt from his past grand final experiences – was given the opportunity this year and hasn’t let anyone down.
A veteran of two losing grand finals for the Bulldogs and former club the Sydney Roosters, Perrett is hungry and sees his match-up against Clive Churchill medal-winner Inglis and the Souths’ outside backs as an opportunity to be embraced.
“It’s just a great challenge is what it’s. An opportunity for us to all grow and learn and become better players and better people, especially under the stress and pressure of this game,” said Perrett, speaking on behalf of Thompson and Brown as well.
“And that’s the way I look at it. It’s always opportunity. It’s always exciting coming up against these players and some of the future stars.”