South Sydney an NRL danger side: Croker

They’ve beaten some of the NRL’s best, but Canberra rate an under-performing yet unpredictable South Sydney a real danger side.

The Rabbitohs will miss the finals for the first time under coach Michael Maguire following a run of seven losses.

The 2014 premiers are languishing in 13th on the ladder after 20 rounds – a position the fourth-placed Raiders have been in the past few seasons.

Captain Jarrod Croker feels their pain and expects some reaction to Monday’s loss to Manly when they go head-to-head at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

“They’re going to be desperate,” Croker said on Thursday.

“They’re coming into the back-end of the year where they need to keep winning games and they’re going to be looking to knock off guys above them.

“They’re dangerous side for us.”

With Sam and George Burgess up front and halves Adam Reynolds and Luke Keary steering the ship, Croker is predicting a physical but free-flowing game.

And it’s their unpredictability that makes them a threat.

“It’s going to be tough to handle so we’ve got to be ready to go from the start,” he said.

“We’ve just got to match them physically and then try to out-enthuse them as well.”

The Raiders have surprised many this season, winning 11 and drawing one of 18.

They’ve won seven of their past eight games to set them up for their first finals appearance since 2012.

“There’s still six rounds to go so we’re not looking anywhere further than this week,” Croker said.

“You’re going to get some accolades on the way, but we’ve got to keep winning and keep earning the right to be up where we are at the moment.”

Croker, in arguably the best form of his career, has garnered plenty of attention himself as the competition’s runaway point-scoring leader.

“It’s good to be playing good footy but it’s off the back of 16 other blokes on the field,” Croker said.

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