Sutton backs Murray to bash Roosters off bench


SYDNEY: South Sydney favourite John Sutton hopes Cameron Murray can channel former forward Ben Te’o and come off the bench to break the hearts of bitter rivals the Sydney Roosters in Saturday night’s preliminary final.
On the same day Mitchell Pearce said most fans would consider his former club’s campaign a “failure” if they bombed out in week three of the NRL finals for a fourth time in five years, Sutton declared the pressure was all on the refreshed boys from Bondi.
Sutton fired an extra insult by declaring Souths’ passionate supporters would easily out-number the red, white and blue at their former stomping ground, saying the sold-out Allianz Stadium blockbuster “will feel like a home game for us”.
Sutton’s fondest memory of their come-from-behind victory over the Roosters in the 2014 preliminary final was Te’o’s efforts from the interchange bench.
While Murray is not as physically intimidating as Te’o, his energy and ability to produce a monster hit in defence is just as impressive.
“I remember Ben Te’o came off the bench and he was an inspiration that game,” Sutton said.
“He put on some big hits and scored a try in the second half to get us in front.
“Cam is my favourite player at the moment. He’s been huge for us the past couple of weeks.
“He’s not massive but has leg speed and he’s a tough bugger.
“He was our best against Melbourne and one of our best along with Adam (Reynolds) last weekend. The more games he plays the more confident he is.”
On the Roosters having had the week off, Sutton said: “I don’t play mind games.
“But we’ve had two games, we haven’t been at our best, the Roosters have had the week off and they’ll be fresh and ready to go. The pressure is definitely on them.”
Pearce, who walked away from the Roosters when the club brought in Cooper Cronk, said there was a lot of heat on the club not to stumble again this deep into September.
“They’ve been there plenty of times and people will see it as a failure if they don’t,” Pearce said.
Several Roosters agreed with Pearce and did not need reminding given the lofty standards they had already set themselves.
“We’ll be disappointed if we lose this week,”captain Boyd Cordner said.
“We have bigger expectations on ourselves than what other people do. We’re very confident in our playing group and what we can achieve.” – SMH

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