Canterbury’s forwards promise to step up a level and heap more pain on bruised South Sydney in their eagerly-awaited Good Friday NRL clash.
The annual fixture is one Bulldogs prop Tim Browne has had circled on the calendar, especially after last year’s infamous `Bad Friday’ clash that ended with bottles being thrown at referees by fans and skipper James Graham and David Klemmer suspended.
While the Bulldogs haven’t addressed that memorable loss this week, the fierce rivalry is high in their minds.
They are gearing for a rugged clash, despite Souths being weakened by the loss of Sam Burgess to injury and coming off a two-days shorter turnaround after an attritional 8-6 loss to St George Illawarra on a rain-hit SCG on Sunday.
“It’s a day on the calendar I really look forward to I know a lot of the others do as well,” said Browne.
“Hopefully they (Souths) are a bit more bruised than we are. It’s good we’ve got a bit more time to prepare and hopefully that’s in our favour this week.”
Canterbury hooker Craig Garvey expected the clash to bring out the bruising best in the Bulldogs who, like Souths, are coming off a loss after starting the season with two wins.
“We’ve got two big packs coming together and our forwards really want to step up from the last two weeks (because) we know we haven’t been on the pace,” said Garvey.
“We’re looking to ramp it up, as I’m sure they are.”
Former Dragon Garvey admitted he also needed to improve as he comes to grips with coach Des Hasler’s style and playing alongside halves Josh Reynolds and Moses Mbye.
Replacing the injured Michael Lichaa, he’s only played two NRL games with the Bulldogs, against the Eels and Penrith, both very different.
“I don’t think we combined really well and it showed on the field,” he said.
“We’ve trained really well together this week.
“I kind of know what to expect now. Hopefully I can take a bit more responsibility, perform a bit better and help the boys out.”