Head Coach Des Hasler gave some insights heading into the Bulldogs’ Round seven clash against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium this Friday.
The two sides have met at ANZ Stadium on fifteen occasions since 1999, with some of the best battles coming in the past five years and it's fair to say that these two teams bring plenty of feeling to the Easter weekend of footy.
“It’s always built up as one of those games with plenty of feeling. Both sides are very passionate about their footy and passion is a big part of rugby league. This game pulls that out and displays it. Both sets of fans are very vocal and it’s important that they come out and support their teams,” said Hasler.
The Bulldogs head into the fixture with some momentum behind them following a gritty 10-7 win over the Broncos a fortnight ago, as well as a 22-12 win over the Knights last weekend and for Coach Hasler, it’s important that his side keeps that momentum going.
“Both sides find themselves on the same amount of points on the competition ladder and it’s a game where you can get ahead of the pack. Two points is important given the fact that Origin is not too far off and it’s important for us to keep our momentum going and make it three on the trot,” added Hasler.
The battle between the Englishmen, James Graham and Sam Burgess always lights up Good Friday, because whenever these two meet, you know each one will give his all.
They are two very different styles of English front-rowers, but two men who Hasler says wear their hearts on their sleeve and will do almost anything to win.
“They’re both very proud about how they go about their football. Both are incumbents in their national sides. They wear their hearts on their sleeve and they play with a lot of pride and commitment,” Hasler said.
Earlier in the week Hasler confirmed David Klemmer would be missing from this week’s side after suffering an ankle injury in the Bulldogs win over the Knights in Round six.
Klemmer's place in the starting line-up will go to Adam Elliott, while Brett Morris shifts to full-back and Kerrod Holland returns from a shoulder injury on the wing.
A crowd of nearly 40,000 fans turned out to see the clash between the two clubs in 2016 and there's sure to be fireworks for the monster game in 2017.