Murray will look for safety in numbers against Sims
Rabbitohs back-rower Cameron Murray has a cunning plan to catch Tariq Sims, Tyson Frizell or Leeson Ah Mau if they come charging right at him in Saturday night's semi-final against the Dragons at ANZ Stadium.
At 90kg Murray is one of the two smallest forwards in the South Sydney pack. The other is 88kg hooker Damien Cook.
So Murray knows he and 'Cooky' will be the 'plat du jour' for the St George Illawarra forwards hungry to bust the Rabbitohs line.
If Murray comes on to the Souths right edge to give Angus Crichton a rest, he will be facing Sims – the three-try hero from the Dragons 48-18 elimination of the Broncos last weekend.
Sometimes coach Anthony Seibold brings Murray into the middle as a replacement for one of the Burgess brothers.
"Do your best I suppose first up," Murray told NRL.com, when asked his tactics to tackle the bigger guys.
"But we need to wrap up the ball first. I need numbers and not just me. I'll look to Cooky.
"Against Tariq, who is an aggressive runner, I know he'll be coming for me. I'll try and be aggressive back and not give him too much room, or too much momentum behind his carries.
"I'll work together with Cooky. We're the two smallest bodies on the field, so we'll be a target.
"We'll both be doing our best with Tariq, Tyson and whoever else we need to tackle."
So the tangle of arms and legs, cardinal red and myrtle green jerseys, around the body of Sims or Frizell is most likely to be Cook and Murray.
Murray may only be 20 and with barely 30 NRL games under his belt, but he has shown no stage fright in the bigger games for the Rabbitohs so far.
He's made 39 tackle breaks in his 23 appearances this year – averaging nearly 100 metres in just under 50 minutes of game time each week.
He made five tackle-breaks and 191 metres (59 post-contact) against the Storm at AAMI Park in last weekend's qualifying final loss.
Murray even scored the last Souths try in the 70th minute, which shaped as a match winner when the conversion pushed the scoreboard out to 28-22.
"I was a bit excited, as you do, scoring a late try and putting your team in front," he said.
"But it doesn't count for much when we didn’t get away with the result. But I take that confidence leading into the Dragons game."
And as for any pre-game jitters, they're non-existent for this Mascot Jets junior.
"Nerves are good obviously but sometimes nerves come from not being confident and I was really confident heading into the Melbourne game. I prepared well and the team ticked all the boxes in training.
"I treated it like every other game and not specifically a final. I didn't get too caught up in that stuff.
"Right now I'm doing my routines the same way I have all year. I try and keep it simple."
It helps having one of his idols beside him in Sam Burgess.
"Sam has been a big role model for me ever since he came to the club. I've always looked up to him as a young fella coming through. He's someone I aspire to play like.
"His energy and his mentality that he brings to game day is infectious.
"I try and get that to rub off on me by implementing some of his confidence and belief in our team into my game."
And then there's the famous white rabbit logo on his left chest.
"It's pretty special. I wont's realise how special all this is until I stop and get some down-time to reflect on it all."
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