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Round 17 of the NRL season continues as the South Sydney Rabbitohs host the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary, starting from 7:55pm (AEST).
There’s no doubt the Rabbits have found their mojo in recent weeks, with big wins over the Sea Eagles and Eels. They sit just two points outside the top four and a position in the top half of the eight is what they’re chasing. To do that though, they’ll need to defeat a team that, along with Penrith, is one of the form teams in the competition.
The rest of the NRL sat up and took notice when Souths hammered Parramatta 38-0 last Thursday. Parra’s edge defence on both sides was under pressure all night and the end scoreline was a fair reflection.
The key to this has probably been in their halves, with Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds both in terrific form. The Bunnies have always had a strong backline but their halves are now letting them shine.
In a big blow, however, Latrell Mitchell is out for the season with a severe hamstring injury. Alex Johnston takes his place at fullback. Dane Gagai returns from injury.
After a slow start to the season by their standards, the Storm are now close to premiership favourites. They comfortably accounted for arch-rivals Manly 30-6 last weekend and are gradually getting their key players back from injury.
Whilst Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster run the show, players like Ryan Papenhuyzen and Jahrome Hughes get better every week and are now legitimate threats on their own.
Brenko Lee replaces Marion Seve at centre, with Seve gone for the season with a knee injury. Nelson Asofa-Solomona is out with a calf strain, with Chris Lewis starting in the second row and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui moving to lock. Ryley Jacks is the new face on the interchange but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ken Bromwich is named in the final squad.
South Sydney are in fine form but I think they will run into a roadblock this weekend.
Craig Bellamy will have Melbourne up for this one and I don’t believe the Rabbits will get enough chances to score.
The Storm have plenty of class and I think they will prevail in a tight one.
Storm by 4
Kick-off: 7:55pm (AEST)
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
TV: Nine, Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel, NRL Live Pass
1. Alex Johnston, 2. Corey Allan, 3. Campbell Graham, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Jaxson Paulo, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Tevita Tavola, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Tom Burgess, 11. Jaydn Su’A, 12. Bayley Sironen, 13. Cameron Murray
Bench/Reserves: 14. Mark Nicholls, 15. Liam Knight, 16. Patrick Mago, 17. Keaon Koloamatangi, 18. Jed Cartwright, 19. Steven Marsters, 20. Troy Dargan, 21. Ky Rodwell
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. Isaac Lumelume, 3. Brenko Lee, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Christian Welch, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Chris Lewis, 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Bench/Reserves: 14. Nicho Hynes, 15. Ryley Jacks, 16. Albert Vete, 17. Darryn Schonig, 18.Sandor Earl, 19. Max King, 20. Aaron Pene, 21. Kenneath Bromwich