Broncos defence key to cracking Rabbitohs
Anthony Griffin has challenged South Sydney to try and crack Brisbane's desperate defence despite the rampant Rabbitohs steamrolling the Sea Eagles in their last start and averaging 35 points in their past four matches.
In what shapes as another must-win game for the Broncos, Griffin believes his side have the necessary defensive capabilities to frustrate the Rabbitohs after witnessing encouraging signs against the Sea Eagles and Bulldogs in the past fortnight.
The Broncos only leaked two tries against the Bulldogs as their attack finally clicked back into gear, scoring more than 30 points for the first time since their 35-34 Round 18 loss to the Panthers.
"They're going to have to score some points to beat us," Griffin said.
"I thought against Manly we were very good in the last 20 minutes and Canterbury got one try against us from a line break on a messy fifth play.
"We were disappointed with the way we finished against Manly and we worked hard last week to improve and we got a few things right, our attack was obviously a lot better.
"[But] we've got to make sure we don't have many points scored against us – that's the main thing."
The Rabbitohs have scored 139 points in their past four matches against the Sea Eagles, Knights, Raiders and Eels and totally dominated Manly through the middle last Friday night, making an extraordinary 449 metres more than the Sea Eagles, with 202 metres coming from Sam Burgess.
Brisbane will receive a slight reprieve on Thursday night with Sam's brother, George, missing through suspension, but Griffin still expects his side to come up against a fired-up Rabbitohs seeking to put themselves another step closer to their first minor premiership since 1989.
"They're the best team in the competition; they've shown that over the past couple of weeks by a mile," he said.
"The way they put Manly away last week showed what they're capable of.
"Everyone's got their strengths and weaknesses – they are just a really disciplined, big and aggressive side and that's who they are. It's not a matter of trying to work them out; it's a matter of trying to beat them at their strengths."
Along with their rampaging forward pack, Griffin was also quick to note the Rabbitohs' dangerous backline containing the likes of halves Luke Keary and Adam Reynolds, rookie sensation Alex Johnston, former Bronco Lote Tuqiri and of course, Greg Inglis.
"On the back of that they've got a couple of really good halves and guys like Greg Inglis, so as soon as you get a bit loose they can put you away," Griffin said, paying particular attention to Inglis.
"Like any of the great players, he's going to get opportunities during the game so we've just got to make sure he doesn't get too many and be very clean with our kick-chase and our defence when he's around the ruck.
"That's the one thing with him – he's going to get some opportunities, we've just got to make sure we're ready and not giving them more than what they earn."
The Broncos are a chance to welcome back their own attacking weapon in the form of Justin Hodges tomorrow night, with star centre to be assessed tomorrow morning.
Hodges missed Brisbane's heartbreaking 28-26 loss to Souths in Round 8 through injury and would have been marking opposite centre Kirisome Auva'a, who scored the match-winning try seven minutes from fulltime when they last met on ANZAC Day.
"He's old now so we'll have to wait until tomorrow," Griffin added.
"We'll take him down [to Sydney] anyway. He wants to play so we'll see what happens.
"If we go with the same 17 as last week that'll be fine with me."