Week off fuels McQueen's fire
Missing out on playing in the Rabbitohs' 47-12 loss to the Broncos a fortnight ago couldn't have been the worst thing, but for South Sydney back-rower Chris McQueen it was absolute torture.
Given the week off by coach Michael Maguire, putting rumours to bed he had been dropped to Souths' NSW Cup feeder team the North Sydney Bears, McQueen took the opportunity to motivate himself and fire up for the business end of the season.
Watching on from the sideline as the Brisbane ran eight tries past his beloved Rabbitohs, McQueen feels he is now primed for a big one in Souths' elimination final clash with the Sharks on Sunday.
"It was a moment for me to put things into perspective. Obviously sitting there and watching the Brisbane game from the sideline wasn't pretty, it wasn't easy and it wasn't a good feeling," McQueen told NRL.com.
"Knowing I was just sitting there and couldn't do anything [was terrible]. It's reignited that fire within now to get out there and rip in for my teammates."
McQueen's going to have to as well in the absence of teammates and fellow forwards George Burgess, John Sutton and Issac Luke.
Admitting there is an onus on every one of the 17 men throwing on the cardinal and myrtle jersey to lift, McQueen was hopeful his team can reverse their recent defensive woes having conceded 109 points in their last three games.
"We have leaked far too many points the past month so we have been working hard at it and if we can get that right then we'll definitely be competitive," McQueen said.
"It's not so much bashing ourselves into submission but it's more about getting our technique right and I guess committing your body to the tackle.
"In saying that the past three weeks don't matter, you play for 26 rounds to make the finals and we have done that.
"It's definitely refreshing and especially with it being sudden death we know what we have to do is play football. We don't have to worry about other results."
Of the Sharks, McQueen knows Souths have to be better if they are to peg back their 18-10 loss to the men from the Shire back in Round 7.
A renowned game, mainly for the atrocious conditions that wreaked havoc at Remondis Stadium McQueen noted Cronulla are serious contenders to take out their maiden premiership.
"I think a few people have been surprised this year by the Sharks but we aren't surprised because they have some great players," he said.
"They had to play in those conditions back then as well and we're not going to play in anything like it this weekend, though they beat us so we have to better."