Johns tips “rascals” over “militant” Dragons

Rugby league personality Matthew Johns has drawn on the coaching philosophy of former Socceroos “super” coach Guus Hiddink to tip a “rascally” Roosters to beat a “militant” Dragons” in the NRL Grand Final this Sunday. <br><br> Johns told Triple M’s “Grill Team” this morning that a key reason he tipped the Roosters to win their first premiership since 2002 came after he read a book by Hiddink, who he believes is a “genius” and “close to the greatest coach in any sport in the world”. <br><br> Johns, who won a premiership with Newcastle in 1997, said that while Hiddink achieved incredible success with the South Korean soccer team, guiding them to fourth in the 2002 World Cup, he struggled with their “militant” style. <br><br> “They were very regimented and when he said do something they jumped,” Johns said. “But Gus said that to win anything … to really achieve anything, you need to have a few rascals in your team – three to four you need. <br><br> “You need to be laying in bed the night before the game asking yourself if they are breaking curfew? Where are they? The dynamics of these guys … They have an emotional threshold above others and they lift the emotional level of the side. <br><br> “I look at the Roosters and I see (Todd) Carney; young Mitchell Pearce who is a bit of a rascal; (Jared) Waerea-Hargreaves, Nate Myles. Sometimes they bring negative headlines … but when the big occasion arrives these guys go through the roof. It’s what makes them tick that is the difference.” <br><br> On the field Johns also believes the Roosters will win the battle because of Pearce and Carney’s attacking threat through the middle and also the fact the Roosters’ defence has been so good at the back end of the year. <br><br> “One of the most underestimated things about them is their defence,” Johns said. “When the big games have come around their defence has tightened up. <br><br> “The thing about Pearce and Carney is that the Dragons like to defend as a collective. The great thing about Pearce and Carney is that they make you defend as an individual because they take you on. <br><br> “That’s what they’ve got. The Roosters on the back of Carney and Pearce – and Anasta … and Brian Smith is due.”