South Sydney Rabbitohs vs St George Illawarra Dragons: Charity Shield live scores, blog

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Nathan Merritt scored a club record 145th try for Souths on the weekend. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Renee Mckay)

Traditional rivals South Sydney Rabbitohs and St George Illawarra Dragons clash in what should be a bruising 2013 Charity Shield encounter at ANZ Stadium. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.40pm AEDT

The Rabbitohs and Dragons have spared no expense in the lead-up to tonight’s charity shield, with each team naming full strength line-ups for the pre-season encounter.

Big signings Ben Te’o and Gerard Beale make their long awaited debut for South Sydney and St George Illawarra respectively, and both will be itching to perform well in their new colours.

Michael Weyman also makes his return from injury for the Dragons tonight and will be hoping he can last 80 minutes against a very physical Rabbitohs pack.

Prediction

The Charity Shield has always been a tightly contested affair and fans should expect another quality match-up between two of the NRL’s great rivals.

Expect a big game from new Dragons captain Ben Creagh, as the NSW Origin forward aims to lead from the front against a very strong Rabbitohs pack.

Te’o should also be looking to impress tonight, given that he has already started his South Sydney career on a rocky note after missing the season’s first trial due to disciplinary reasons.

The battle between Jamie Soward and Adam Reynolds in the halves is also a match-up to look forward for both sets of fans, and players will have a big say as to whether or not their teams will have successful seasons this year.

With early bragging rights on the line, tonight’s contest promises to be a beauty as both teams look to get some early winning form on the board before the real action begins in March.

On paper the Rabbitohs possess the better strike power, and if they play towards their potential, they should have just enough class to beat the Dragons in a tight, physical encounter.

Rabbitohs by six.

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