Inglis tells Souths to soak up the week
Rabbitohs fullback Greg Inglis played in four consecutive grand finals early in his career, meaning he personally accounts for 80 per cent of his side's NRL grand final experience – but his advice to players and fans alike is to just soak it all up because you never know when another one will roll around.
He won't need to remind the Redfern faithful, who have waited 43 long years since the club's 1971 triumph over Canterbury, nor his clubmates, who are all – bar winger Lote Tuqiri – heading into their first ever NRL grand final.
And even the evergreen Tuqiri has had to wait 14 years between drinks since his 2000 triumph with the Broncos.
"We just have to sit back and enjoy the week for what it is; we've worked hard all year to be in this position," Inglis said from a club media session at Redfern Oval.
Inglis's four grand final weeks all came with the Storm, in his first four full years in first grade from 2006 to 2009, for two losses and two wins (with the titles later stripped for salary cap breaches).
Inglis is in a better position than most to understand what Rabbitohs young guns such as Dylan Walker (20) and Alex Johnston (19) are feeling, and he insists the nerves aren't getting to them.
"They've been fine, no nerves – well obviously they've got nerves, but they've been enjoying it more than anyone," Inglis said of the pair.
Looking back on his time in Melbourne learning off senior players like Cameron Smith, and getting the odd kick up the backside when he needed it, Inglis said it was now his turn to be the senior man.
"Now I'm in that position with Dyl Walker and AJ, but those boys just do remarkable things and are so grounded, I don't have to kick them up the bum, they've got the right attitude," he said.
Inglis said his experience had taught him to savour grand final week, which can fly past if you let it.
"I'm excited about the whole week – this morning everyone came in happy and buzzing, you get a really good sense that everyone's really looking forward to the week.
"You just react with the other players, especially the young kids coming through, even though they might be standing back and a little bit shocked, like I keep saying – as a whole team and a whole squad we've got to enjoy it."