NRL: Souths forwards to 'inflict some pain'

Tuesday 2 February 2010, 1:49PM
By Terry Cuthbert

South Sydney captain Roy Asotasi has compared the monster new Rabbitohs pack to the premiership-winning Bulldogs forwards of 2004, and believes it can inflict the same sort of pain.

Asotasi was a key member of the big-hitting Dogs of War, who included Willie Mason in his prime, Mark O'Meley and Sonny Bill Williams.

He says the Rabbitohs' recruitment of 115kg Dave Taylor from Brisbane, 110kg Ben Ross from Cronulla and gun Englishman Sam Burgess to join the likes of himself, Michael Crocker and Luke Stuart will have opponents dreading a clash with Souths.

"Every team hated to play (the Bulldogs) because they knew that we played the up-and-in defence, get in your face aggression," Asotasi told reporters at today's launch of the annual Charity Shield clash with St George Illawarra.

"So they knew when they played the Bulldogs it was going to be one tough day at the office.

"We're hoping that we can do that this year, that we're able to turn out there and from the kickoff just inflict some pain and just to let people know we're here to pay football and we're not going to back down."

Asotasi said Souths' 2010 engine room lost nothing in comparison to the 2004 Bulldogs.

"I think it's up there," he said.

"Both packs were about the same size, the same skill level, we've just got to be able to produce it.

"In 2004 when we had that pack we got to the grand final and we won it and we've got to do something similar to that in 2010.

"If we can achieve that then we'll probably be the same as, or maybe even better than, what we had in 2004.

"That's one of the things Russell Crowe wanted to bring to South Sydney was size and we definitely have that in Taylor, Rossy and Burgess.

"It's probably made me have to get a big bigger and heavier to try and match these guys in the scrum because I probably look like a hooker compared to (them)."

The 28-year-old skipper said defence was the key area needing attention from the Rabbitohs, who missed the finals in 2008 and last year after a breakthrough 2007.

"It all came down to just letting too many people gain too many easy yards," he said.