South Sydney fullback Greg Inglis
South Sydney fullback Greg Inglis Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

South Syney and Penrith prepare for final

IT'S been a long-standing argument in rugby league about the benefit of having a week off in the middle of the finals and the theory that a rest is a bonus will be put to the test again on the weekend.

Most players agree that having a week to get over niggling injuries and soreness can lift them into the grand final.

If that's the case, South Sydney will be playing Penrith on Sunday week and both the defending premiers, the Roosters, and Bulldogs will be planning Mad Monday activities.

But records suggest there is nothing wrong with playing week to week and building the hard edge needed to win finals games.

The Roosters and Bulldogs did just that last weekend, both winning heart-stopping one-point thrillers as Souths and Penrith put their feet up.

Of the 20 preliminary finals played in the past decade, 11 have been won by the team coming off the week's rest and nine by teams toughened by continuous football, not enough difference to give either side of the argument a victory.

But for someone such as South Sydney fullback Greg Inglis, there is no doubt the week off has helped him over a nagging hip injury and freshened him up for his class confrontation with champion Roosters No.1 Anthony Minichiello, who will pass Luke Ricketson's all-time record of 301 games for the Roosters.

Inglis was favouring the injury after being run down by Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce in their round 26 showdown when the South Sydney took a big psychological advantage winning the clash 22-18.

"I'm feeling fresh and I know everybody around here (at Souths) is feeling pretty relaxed and we will be ready to go on Friday night," Inglis said.

"The hip is fine. The body is fine."



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