AAP Rugby

Rabbitohs harbouring no fear of SCG

By AAP Newswire

South Sydney are refusing to be intimidated by the SCG and the Sydney Roosters' record there this year, insisting it's just as much their home.

Heading into Friday's qualifying final between the arch-rivals, the Roosters have gone to another level playing at their home venue in 2019, winning eight straight games and outscoring their opponents 306-66 in the process.

Their strike rate there is a product of coach Trent Robinson's attempts to breed familiarity between the players and the venue and convert it into a fortress.

Robinson has frequently held bonding sessions on the ground this year, however wouldn't reveal details, insisting they remain private.

"It's your home ground, so if you're going to play footy there, you've got to make it your home," Robinson said.

"You do that by the way you play on that ground, as well as how you have experiences there. You do more than just train there."

While the SCG shapes as the Tri Colours' secret weapon in their bid for back-to-back titles, the Rabbitohs are refusing to be overawed.

After all, they are the only visiting team to beat the Roosters there this year, during their round one upset.

As well, Bennett pointed out that during their history, the Rabbitohs had played their share of games out of the SCG.

In fact they have played 50 finals games there, six more than the Roosters.

As well, some of their most defining moments have occurred at the famous ground, including their 1970 NSWRL grand final victory during which John Sattler famously played with a broken jaw.

"We're playing an away game at the Sydney Cricket Ground," Bennett said.

"It's a great place for South Sydney, besides Redfern, it's the other ground I think they'd call home. It's a pleasure to be there."

Friday's qualifying final will be the first finals match at the ground since the 1987 grand final in which Bennett co-coached Canberra when they fell to a Cliff Lyons-inspired Manly 18-8.

"I remember that pretty well actually. I remember Sam Backo dropping the ball under the goalposts," Bennett said.

"A couple of other things too that I wish I couldn't remember."