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Rabbitohs lock Cameron Murray.

In-from Souths lock Cameron Murray has excelled in the centres in the Bunnies' past two wins and his junior days in the 15-man code may explain his brilliance out wide.

Murray made some phenomenal defensive reads and one-on-one tackles in the closing stages as an injury-ravaged Souths held on to a 16-10 win over the Roosters in round 25 and he was at it again in the 34-26 semi-final win over Manly.

Manly's devastating right-side centre Moses Suli busted 11 tackles in that game – a problem opposite man Dane Gagai addressed to in a forthright manner this week – but he busted zero in the final 22 minutes of game time once Murray moved to left centre following HIAs to outside backs Alex Johnston and Adam Doueihi.

Murray went on to score the match-sealing try with some superb footwork taking advantage of the extra space on offer.

Murray told he had barely spent a minute of game time or even training at centre in the four years since he last played out wide in rugby but reckoned the experience stood him in good stead.

"Centre was my position in rugby union so I was defending with a lot of space around me in rugby union - but that was four years ago," Murray said.

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"I guess [it helped], you're defending with a lot more space, you have to rely on yourself and not the people around you a lot more. A little bit of muscle memory still left there, it has helped a little bit.

"I haven't had as much experience as I would've liked heading out there when I'm asked but I think it's been the story of this whole team, not just me. People have been playing out of position all year round and done what the team needed them to do."

It is a positive sign that with so many injuries and disruptions, players have managed to get the job done in unfamiliar positions without looking for excuses, according to Murray. Fellow forwards Ethan Lowe and Kyle Turner have also performed admirably out wide when asked.

"It's been great to be a part of a team that can have that versatility and put players in positions they haven't got a lot of experience in but they just work with their team-mates around them, trust in the team that's around them and really work well together," he added.

"You just do what the team needs you to do regardless of what role it is and you do it the best you can. There's been plenty of people that have done that all season and I like to think I've gone close to fulfilling that role when I've been called upon.

"It's very character-building and confidence-building for us, people playing out of position but still getting the results we want to get."

With Souths centre James Roberts in doubt following a compound dislocation to his thumb, the club's backline stocks remain thin. However Murray said he was not expecting to spend any time marking Canberra danger man Joey Leilua unless there was further in-game disruption.

"I'll be ready to go if anything happens but my role and my focus is that lock forward position and that's where I'll be starting," he said.

"I try not to over-complicate things and I'm not going to be thinking about too much else other than my role in the middle.

"They're a great side and they've got some real quick forwards who are good on their feet and really strong and create a lot of momentum. They've got a really handy hooker (Josh Hodgson) who's been great for them this year.

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"We know we have to start fast through the middle and win that battle. We've failed to do that over the last couple of weeks but we've been lucky to scrape by so that will be a focus.

"Manly rolled us a few times through the middle and we would have liked to be a bit more aggressive and not give up as many metres as we gave up and be a bit more congruent when it comes to working together and trusting each other."

Murray's professionalism drew praise from clubmate Cody Walker.

"He's so relentless with his energy. He just doesn't stop – he's a wonderful person first and foremost, but he's a wonderful trainer," Walker told

"He's always doing the extras for himself and doing what's best for the team. This year he's etched his named in the representative scene, and I think he'll be there for a number of years.

"He is a player that has those qualities to be a great leader in years to come. He may be young, but he's already a leader in this team, so the scary thing is how good he'll become."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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