Not only is Greg Inglis a certain starter for South Sydney in a crucial NRL clash against the Warriors in Perth on Saturday but coach Michael Maguire expects his captain to lead the charge against their in-form and dangerous opponents.
Inglis returned to some of his best form in last Saturday’s 22-16 win over the Gold Coast Titans before leaving the field due to a head knock in the 56th minute, but he is a certain starter at nib Stadium in Saturday’s vital match.
The Rabbitohs, who are hosting their annual clash in Perth, are in sixth position with a 7-5 record having won their last two games without Adam Reynolds.
The Warriors are on a three-match winning streak and not far behind with a 6-5 return.
While Shaun Johnson, Sam Tomkins, Manu Vatuvei and company will provide plenty for the Rabbitohs to worry about, Maguire expects nothing but the best from an honest Inglis who admitted to being down on form after Origin 1.
“I think a bit of a rest with his tonsillitis has probably been a great thing for him at this time of the year so he’s looking forward to having a big game now here in Perth,” Maguire said.
“He’s a pretty harsh critic of himself and I think there are errors in his game that he even looked at from our last game that he wants to improve on. That’s a good reflection of him as a senior player.”
Things haven’t been completely smooth for the Rabbitohs in their premiership defence in 2015, particularly with the absence of halfback Reynolds with a thumb injury which sees him sidelined for another month.
But Maguire has been impressed with those that have stepped up in particular Luke Keary who is replacing Reynolds, and is now chasing a third straight win come Saturday to improve to an 8-5 record.
This will be a great result given they are yet to hit top gear.
“We are continually going through stages where you have all your players on the field at some stages, and then others have been injured so we’ve been through those times. But what it has done for us is it has given us some great growth with guys coming in,” Maguire said.
“A lot of our young guys Cam McInnes, Nathan Brown, Aaron Gray and Luke Keary have all really stepped up, especially Luke with Adam being out injured with his thumb. For us it’s about the opportunities provided through this period and we just need to keep forging forward.”