De Belin won’t surrender to pain
ST George Illawarra lock Jack de Belin concedes his busted ankle won't fully recover but he is determined to defy the pain to play South Sydney in Saturday's semi-final.
De Belin donned a moon boot on Tuesday after re-injuring his ankle in last weekend's big win over the Broncos in Brisbane.
The NSW Origin star won't run this week and will rely on light trampoline work and painkilling injections to take on the Rabbitohs.
Remarkably, de Belin has relied on painkilling injections since suffering a hip injury in May.
"But I'll give myself every opportunity to play this weekend," de Belin said.
"Mary (Paul McGregor) has spoken to me and said do whatever you need to do to get it (the ankle) right.
"A big thanks to him because I didn't train at all last week and I know with some coaches if you don't train, you don't play.
"Hats off to the physio team for helping me. I didn't do any running during the week and I did a bit of work on the trampoline just to get it ready.
"It is the same pain again. It isn't the most enjoyable pain but it is bearable.
"When you are in a moon boot it makes it a lot easier.
"The ligaments and surrounding muscles have seized up. It is different but when you don't have much time to get it right, you just have to deal with it."
De Belin risking his ankle in a must-win semi-final could blow up in his face like it did against Brisbane.
The Cootamundra-born forward failed to finish the match after limping off in the 52nd minute.
Despite this, de Belin insists he won't be a burden if he takes the field against Souths on Saturday night.
"I'm more of a senior player and if I'm out there not at 100 per cent, I still feel like I'd be giving the boys a boost and a bit of inspiration," he said.
"I feel like I'm past that stage of my career now where I'm one of these young players making up a number.
"I can't say 100 per cent but I'd like to give myself a high percentage.
"For me not to play, it would have to be pretty bad."
If de Belin proves his fitness to play Souths he will face a mouth-watering clash against the Bunnies' big men.
The Burgess brothers, Angus Crichton and John Sutton help Souths form one of the NRL's most formidable back.
De Belin respects the Rabbitohs but says they can be beaten.
"They have got a big forward pack and if you let them get on the front foot they can wreak havoc," he said.
"But we are a lot smaller and mobile, so if we can neutralise their size we'll go a long way to getting the victory.
"We just had to make the finals and once we did I knew we could make an impact.
"We played really well on the weekend and now we've got another job to do."