Storm fans might think he’s crazy but Brandon Smith is pleased Sam Burgess was cleared by the NRL judiciary to take on Melbourne on Sunday.
The Rabbitohs received a huge boost at the judiciary on Tuesday night when their influential big man was successful in having his careless high tackle charge for a hit on Cronulla's Matt Moylan downgraded.
It means Burgess is available to take on the Storm on Sunday and Smith is happy the Rabbitohs enforcer will take the field.
"I reckon it is a better for us to be facing the Bunnies with Burgess so we can get used to them having a full team," Smith said.
"Wayne Bennett is a freak, he and (Craig) Bellamy have had a rivalry for a while, so I am looking forward to it."
Smith added he believed the judiciary had been inconsistent this season and was “not really that surprised” that Burgess had succeeded in his mission to get a downgrade.
Match: Rabbitohs v Storm
Round 21 -
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
Sunday’s clash in Gosford could be a precursor to a September meeting with Melbourne six points clear at the top of the ladder and Souths equal with Canberra and the Roosters on the second rung but fourth on for-and-against.
The heartbreak of last year's grand final loss to the Roosters is spurring on the Storm in 2019, according to Smith.
“All the boys have it in the back of their mind that we lost the grand final last year and we lost the minor premiership as well," Smith said on Wednesday.
"We let little things like that slip through our fingers and we have videos that the coaches play that recognise that we need to do one better than what we did last year.
"It’s a very painful experience losing a grand final and I can’t imagine what it would be like winning one, but hopefully we can (this season)."
The Kiwi says last season’s finals and potential 2019 playoff match-ups have been put to the side this week with all the Storm’s focus on the trip to the NSW Central Coast to face the Bunnies.
"They are one of those teams you cannot sleep on as they have got strike weapons everywhere," he said.
"It doesn’t really matter how their form is looking, they could come out and just blow us off the park so we have got to be prepared."