25 Jul 2010

Warriors prepare for chance to secure top eight spot

8:17 am on 25 July 2010

The fifth-placed Warriors play South Sydney on Sunday afternoon, trying for a win over the Rabbitohs to cement their place in the National Rugby League top eight.

It would also equal the club's second-longest winning streak in its 15-year NRL history.

Souths have a big pack with English forward Sam Burgess joining the former Kiwi captain, Roy Asotasi, in the front row.

He replaces Luke Stuart, whose broken hand ended his season.

Warriors centre Jerome Ropati says the lack of Stuart, and the Rabbitohs' Kiwi hooker, Isaac Luke, may be helpful.

But Ropati says other players such as their new English import Sam Burgess and halfback Chris Sandow are leading the Rabbitohs very well, and it is always extremely tough to play them at their ground.

The Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has identified Burgess as possibly the most exciting individual player of the year and a key to the Rabbitohs' game.

Cleary says Souths are one of the most potent attacking teams in the competition, but he says the Warriors' defence is well-positioned to take that test.

And he says in terms of attack, his side are comfortable and confident they have more in them yet.

The Rabbitohs are currently tenth on the NRL table, two points behind the Eels, who beat the Bulldogs on Friday night.