The New Zealand Warriors will look to atone for poor form on the road when they take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Mt Smart Stadium this afternoon. Join us for live scores and commentary from 12.00pm AEST.
Last year’s NRL grand finalists, the Warriors, were the subject of high expectations coming into 2012, but they’ve failed to live up so far with just two wins from their first six outings.
Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs are once again battling a mounting injury list, with the absence of Nathan Merritt, Sam Burgess and Roy Asotasi notable. Still, they’ve managed to grind out three wins this season and will be aiming for their third straight this week.
The Warriors have traditionally dominated this fixture and last year won both matches home and away, putting the Bunnies to the sword in Round 20 in a 48-16 drubbing.
Shaun Johnson and James Maloney stamped themselves as one of the most exciting halves pairings in the NRL in that contest, but they’ve shown only glimpses of that form in 2012.
Indeed, Maloney – whose name was in the mix for Origin at the start of the season – has failed to prove himself a worthy contender so far in 2012, and he’ll be looking for a big game as NSW selectors watch on.
Despite being named at fullback, Kevin Locke’s corked thigh is expected to keep him out for another week. Krisnan Inu has been called into the side and will take Locke’ place at fullback.
For the Bunnies, Dave Tyrrell replaces Asotasi in the front row while debutant Neccrom Areaiiti joins an extended bench.
Dave Taylor will once again need to put his hand up in the absence of Burgess and Asotasi — he is still arguably the most damaging runner in the competition, and with ball skills to match, there’s no doubt he and Greg Inglis are the game breakers for Souths.
Can the Warriors get their season back on track with a big performance at home, or will the Rabbitohs win their third on the trot? Join us from 12.00pm AEST for live score updates and debate on our live blog, and be sure to give us your opinion in the space below if you’re watching.