South Sydney lock Ben Lowe has warned that the Rabbitohs will be out for revenge when they face the Sydney Roosters in tonight’s local derby at the Sydney Football Stadium.<br><br>The Roosters embarrassed their traditional rivals 36-10 in Round 1 this year – the one-sided thumping providing a wake-up call just days after giant back-rower Dave Taylor had declared the new-look Rabbitohs pack the best in the NRL.<br><br>Their season has improved significantly since then, with both sides locked on 20 points and sitting comfortably inside the top eight, but Lowe said he hadn’t forgotten the magnitude of that opening-round loss.<br><br>“It stung us pretty badly,” he admits. “You always want to start your season off well.<br> <br>“The previous year we put quite a big score on them and obviously they didn’t want to come out and have the same start to their season again. It was a good eye-opener for us.<br> <br>“We had a lot of hype at the start of the year with the new boys coming to the club. <br><br>“It made us realise that it wasn’t just going to happen for us – we needed to work hard. It was a good lesson.”<br><br>Lowe said he expected another torrid encounter, with the victor going a long way towards securing a finals berth come September.<br><br>“Both sides always come out with all guns blazing but they got us at the start of the year so we want the square-up,” he said.<br><br>“It’s the local derby, so there will be plenty of feeling in it. <br><br>“For a lot of the fans it’s probably the biggest game of the year but from our perspective if we can come out and do the job on them hopefully we’ll be able to kick on into the back end of the season.”<br><br>The Rabbitohs will head into tonight’s game minus the services of hooker Issac Luke who, ironically, dislocated his shoulder at training during the club’s bye week.<br><br>However, Lowe said the break had come at the perfect time for South Sydney after they downed Melbourne for the first time in nine games in Perth two weeks ago.<br><br>“We were getting a bit flat and we were up and down with our game – a few of the boys had some bumps and injuries so it was a good chance to freshen up and get ready for this game,” he said. <br><br>“We’ve had a good rest so hopefully we can keep the momentum going now.”<br><br>Lowe returned to the Rabbitohs yesterday after spending the past two weeks in camp with the Queensland State of Origin camp as 18th man – an experience he described as a career highlight.<br><br> “It was unreal,” he said. “It was a bit overwhelming to start off with, but once I got to know the boys and I spoke to Mal, I fitted in nicely. <br><br>“Mal treated it as if I was playing so I did everything and it was great to get the experience.<br><br>“They’re a pretty solid bunch of boys – they’ve been together for awhile given their success over the past five years so it was nice to get in there and experience it all. <br><br>“If the opportunity comes up again I can slide straight back in but I think I’ll be a better player for it.”<br><b><br>Late NRL news:</b><br><br>• Rabbitohs back-rower Michael Crocker will finally return from a hamstring injury against the Roosters tonight. Crocker has played just one game in 2010.<br> <br>• Gold Coast captain Scott Prince is also set to return from a hamstring injury, but his opposite number Robert Lui has been ruled out for the Tigers. Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence will again team up in the halves.<br><br>• Luke Lewis is in doubt for the Panthers after suffering a corked thigh in Wednesday night’s State of Origin clash, while the Warriors are yet to make a final decision on fullback Lance Hohaia ahead of Sunday’s game at CUA Stadium.
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