Bubbling Bulldogs wary of cornered Rabbitohs

Esther Linder |

South Sydney have endured a horror start to 2024, shipping 112 points in three straight losses.
South Sydney have endured a horror start to 2024, shipping 112 points in three straight losses.

Canterbury fear under-fire South Sydney could burst into life when they host the Bulldogs for the traditional Easter clash.

Used to battling near the top, the toothless Rabbitohs have gone winless through the opening three rounds and head into Good Friday’s battle with the Bulldogs sitting last on the ladder for the first time since 2010.

Head coach Jason Demetriou was grilled over his future following last week’s 48-6 loss to the Sydney Roosters, the heaviest defeat of his tenure.

That defeat followed on the heels of a 36-24 reverse against Manly in the Las Vegas season opener and a 28-18 beating by the Broncos.

But Canterbury recruit Connor Tracey said the increased pressure could motivate the Rabbitohs to “play (their) best game of the year” when the sides line up at Accor Stadium.

“We know they’re going to bring their best game,” the utility said.

“They’ve got good attacking players, so we’ve got to be on our best game as well.”

Hooker Reed Mahoney said the Bulldogs were anticipating a tough match against the beleaguered Rabbitohs.

“They’re all in the corner at the moment and looking for things,” Mahoney said.

“On Friday they’re going to be at their best – and when they are at their the best … they’re a quality side.”

Canterbury savoured a six-try 32-0 romp against Gold Coast on Saturday, enjoying a return to their spiritual home at Belmore as they clinched their first win of the season.

The bubbling Bulldogs held an opponent scoreless for the first time since 2021, but Mahoney said the side would not be getting carried away.

“It’s a really positive feeling (but we have a) short turnaround,” he said. 

“(We) enjoyed the win, but (we’re) focusing on Friday now. We had a good performance (but) we need to be able to produce it again.”