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Maguire plays down Souths' Storm links

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has played down the significance of taking on his former club Melbourne and close friend Craig Bellamy in Saturday's NRL qualifying final at AAMI Park.
Maguire plays down Souths' Storm links
by NRL

By Ian Mccullough

SYDNEY, Sept 6 AAP - South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has played down the significance of taking on his former club Melbourne and close friend Craig Bellamy in Saturday's NRL qualifying final at AAMI Park.

Maguire spent five years working under Bellamy before enjoying a successful two-season spell with Wigan in the English Super League.

However, the 38-year-old, who has guided Souths to a first finals appearance in half a decade in his maiden season with the club, is refusing to allow his players or staff to be distracted by anything outside of Saturday's game - and that includes close friendships.

Souths players Michael Crocker, Matt King and Greg Inglis also all have connections with the Storm but the coach denied it makes the match any more special for him or his players.

"I am only focused about us at Souths, not what is going on in the outside world," said Maguire.

"All I can control is what we do here.

"We're going there to win, like they will be."

Maguire believes the improvement his squad has made this season will stand them in good stead on Saturday and they seek to take another step up to the level needed to win finals.

"We see ourselves improving over the journey we face right now, we're taking enormous steps from where we were at the start of the season," he said.

"The boys all know how hard this test is going to be.

"But we will going there in the best possible shape."


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