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Renouf: Bennett's team will be primed to bring glory, glory to South Sydney

The old master Wayne Bennett is the perfect coach to have in charge at this time of year and I'm tipping him to be the difference between the two teams in the grand final on Sunday.

He's been there so many times before and that experience he brings, he'll have his South Sydney players relaxed all week but ready to go for kick-off against the Panthers.

I love the way they attacked their preliminary final against Manly.

They just dismantled them even though plenty of people were tipping a Manly upset. They'll take a lot of out of that. Individually they'll all do the job Wayne gives them to do and if they do that they'll be very hard to beat.

The two teams have had very different build-ups since they met in the first week of the finals.

Panthers v Rabbitohs - Grand final

Souths had a week off then were totally dominant against Manly. Penrith had that really tough game against Parramatta then another one against the Storm last week which kind of a funny game, it was fairly unattractive with a lot of errors but they really had to slog it out.

Melbourne were right off the boil – I'm not sure if Penrith did that to them but the two prelims were two totally different games so it will be interesting to see what effect that has on the teams.

Both squads have a couple of injury worries but Penrith played a tougher game in the prelim.

Which grand final do you wish you played in?

That sort of thing can go either way, whether Penrith will be toughened up more than Souths because of the games they've had in the past two weeks or if it's taken something out of them.

I don't think it will disadvantage Souths because Wayne has taken teams to grand finals through a week off before and knows how to handle the occasion. He just has a thing for being able to prepare teams for this time of the year.

Souths would have had a good week off. Back in the old Broncos days in the 1990s, Wayne always told us you can't play the grand final on the Monday or the Tuesday.

Earlier in the week he'll do everything to take their minds off the fact they have a grand final coming up on Sunday. They'll keep it relaxed, have a hit of golf – it will be very low key this week.

As it gets closer he'll also remind them about enjoying the game. This is why you play, for these occasions. This is why you start training back in November and get flogged all summer.

This is the pinnacle – you train and play all year for this one game.

This is why you start training back in November and get flogged all summer.

Not that I'm discounting Ivan Cleary and the Panthers. He hasn't won the war of words so far but Ivan won't get caught up in that stuff this week.

He knows he has to concentrate on the job at hand. I'd expect he will probably treat this week similar to Wayne actually. He'll keep it low key.

They were there last year and unfortunately didn't win but they have that experience now as a unit and they know first-hand what went right and what went wrong.

Benji's overlooked resilience his proudest trait

They will take a lot out of getting the better of Melbourne in the grand final rematch last week who a lot of us thought were unbeatable.

All those Penrith boys were there last year and know what it takes, that's their inspiration – to avoid losing two in a row.

Penrith need to start well but if they lead at half-time they win most of their matches this year. Souths have shown they can have a few brain snaps during matches so if Penrith get out to an early lead they can use that to their advantage.

Burton and Capewell desperate to finish Penrith careers on a high

But if it's Souths that gets away to a good start they could be very hard for Penrith to reel back in.

I'm looking for Matt Burton to be a bit of a game-breaker for Penrith. They need to give him some decent early ball.

He's very effective, he's a good runner of the ball and smart footy player and there will be opportunities there for him outside Jarome Luai or even Nathan Cleary. They have to be looking for him because he can come up with a crucial big play.

For Souths I've been very impressed with Blake Taaffe since Latrell Mitchell got suspended. Wayne gave him a chance and he took it - you have to give it to the kid, they were big shoes to gill and he hasn't let the club down.

Wayne will be working on him to keep his head level and have nothing running around in there except for what he needs to focus on.

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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