Saffy vows vengeance on Raiders

Jarrod Saffy has vowed to avenge St George Illawarra’s humiliating defeat on Sunday. Picture: MELANIE RUSSELLSt George Illawarra hard man Jarrod Saffy yesterday declared he wanted revenge on the Raiders.The 25-year-old has vowed to avenge Sunday’s humiliating 32-16 defeat in the nation’s capital if the two teams were to meet again in September.The loss at Canberra Stadium has opened the door for the green machine to sneak into eighth position, possibly setting up a week one finals showdown with the Dragons. Full coverage of the Dragons Despite failing to register a victory in five appearances against the Raiders, Saffy said he would be happy to take on Canberra in the qualifying final.”We owe them one if they come back up here,” he said.”It would be nice to play them in week one.”While the Raiders have proven to be St George Illawarra’s bogey team over the past decade, it is the Dragons’ recent record against Brisbane which will have fans concerned.The Broncos, who sit on the cusp of the top eight with two weeks remaining, are expected to be fighting for eighth position when they clash with the Raiders in round 26.The red and whites have lost three of their past four games against the Broncos, including last year’s semi-final defeat at Suncorp Stadium.While some players will argue statistics count for very little on the paddock, Wayne Bennett’s troops can’t ignore the losses to Canberra and Brisbane in the last month.Despite losing those respective matches, the Dragons gave their fans a glimmer of hope when they produced dazzling attacking football in the dying stages.But by the time St George Illawarra started playing the attractive brand of football, it was too late.An inability to produce points saw the Dragons bundled out of last year’s premiership race in straight sets, and despite copping a barrage of criticism again in 2010, Saffy insists his side aren’t about to change their ways.”That’s the style we feel we need to play going into the finals,” the South African-born forward said.”I don’t think we’re going to go away from what works for us.”We might throw the ball around a little bit but I don’t think things will change too much.”Newcastle play a similar style to the Raiders and will be desperate to upset the competition leaders at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.The resurgent Knights, who must win against the Dragons to have any chance of playing in the finals, have captured the imagination of the rugby league fraternity with their flair and imagination with the footy.But Saffy said the best way to shut the Knights down was to stick to plan A.”They’re a big forward pack, so wrestle and line speed will be important,” he said.”They are going to throw the ball around so they’ll test our defence but we’ll get back to what works for us.”Jeremy Smith and Beau Scott will return for the match, forcing Nick Emmett and Ricky Thorby back to the NSW Cup.
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