NRL: Rabbitohs throw off wrestling worries

Roy Asotasi. Photo / Getty Images
Roy Asotasi. Photo / Getty Images

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire says he is unconcerned about Canterbury's wrestling techniques ahead of tomorrow's NRL grand final qualifier.

Under Des Hasler, the Bulldogs have become the game's premier side at slowing down the ruck and controlling the speed of the game through the wrestle.

But despite the threat it could pose to the Rabbitohs' attacking maestros Greg Inglis, Issac Luke and Adam Reynolds, Maguire said it had not factored into their preparations for the ANZ Stadium clash.

"I think every team practises that area of the game and it's no different each week," Maguire said.

"Everyone's doing their practice in various areas and I'm sure they're practising what they need to do and we're focused about what we need to do."

With a crowd in excess of 70,000 anticipated for the all-Sydney showdown, Maguire said his young stars were handling the expectation of the big week impressively.

"The boys in our group like Roy Asotasi, Michael Crocker, Matty King, Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess I could go on on a number of players," Maguire said.

"Even Luke Burgess has played in a number of finals overseas. We're lucky that we've got a lot of experience at this time of the year and the young boys are just thriving on the enthusiasm."

Maguire confirmed that winger Nathan Merritt was on track to return from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss last week's victory over Canberra.

"We're really hoping he's right to go. He's trained all this week so there's no reason why he shouldn't be playing," Maguire said.

"As a team we want Nathan in there. He's a massive part of what we've been doing here."

Should Merritt fail a late fitness test however, the versatile Justin Hunt will take his spot as he did against the Raiders.

- AAP

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