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The South Sydney Rabbitohs will look to get back to their best as they take on the inconsistent New Zealand Warriors when rugby league heads to the Sunshine Coast. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 3pm (AEDT).e
South Sydney have been in good touch to start the season, but hit a stumbling block last week when they forgot how to hold the footy at Brookvale.
In the end, it was a golden point loss and a Daly Cherry-Evans field goal which sunk the Rabbitohs as they lost for the first time this season, but there have been signs that all is not right for Wayne Bennett’s men over the last two weeks.
The loss to Manly followed a tough win over the Gold Coast Titans, where their ball control and attacking ability left plenty to be desired in the second half.
While they have shown what they are capable of – the Round 1 demolition of defending premiers the Roosters being the best example – they need to get back to that level.
The boys from Redfern aren’t aided by the injury of Greg Inglis, who might be heading for an early retirement, but it was the basics which let them down in the second half last week, while their defence could also use a bit of a toughening up period through the middle third of the field.
If the Rabbitohs win that battle, they will win most games they play, because Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker are just about the perfect halves combination when on song.
On the other side of the coin, the Warriors came away with a pretty strong win last weekend over the Gold Coast Titans, but playing away from home, have struggled big time.
While it would be nice to put emphasis on their two home wins, beating the Bulldogs and Titans doesn’t exactly make for the best reading.
They did, however, look a much better footy team last weekend, with Chanel Harris-Tavita making his debut and running things strongly alongside Blake Green in the halves.
Their kicking game is crucial today if they are to pick up the win, with Souths likely to roll them through the middle third of the field.
The Warriors will need to also take a risk or two and get the ball wide early. They have some potentially fragile defensive combinations to play, and with Solomone Kata, Peta Hiku, Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu’a in the centres and wings, they have the star power there to exploit it.
The Warriors have struggled in Australia already this season, and it’s hard to see the Rabbitohs being as poor as they were at Brookvale last weekend.
Rabbitohs by 10.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this Round 5 match on the Sunshine Coast from 3pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 3pm (AEDT)
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium
TV: Live, Fox League 502
Online: Live, Foxtel app, Foxtel now, Kayo Sports, NRL live pass
Overall record: Played 33, Warriors 19, Rabbitohs 14
Last meeting: Warriors 10 defeated by Rabbitohs 30 at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Last five: Rabbitohs 4, Warriors 1
Record at venue: Never played
Referees: Chris Sutton and Chris Butler
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Alex Johnston, 2. Corey Allan, 3. Kyle Turner, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Campbell Graham, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. George Burgess, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Thomas Burgess, 11. John Sutton, 12. Sam Burgess, 13. Cameron Murray
Interchange: 14. Tevita Tatola, 15. Mark Nicholls, 16. Ethan Lowe, 17. Liam Knight, 18. Connor Tracey, 19. Bayley Sironen, 20. Rhys Kennedy, 21. Jacob Gagan
New Zealand Warriors
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. David Fusitu’a, 3. Peta Hiku, 4. Solomone Kata, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Chanel Harris-Tevita, 7. Blake Green, 8. Agnatius Paasi, 9. Karl Lawton, 10. Leeson Ah Mau, 11. Adam Blair, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Lachlan Burr
Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Isaiah Papali’i, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Sam Lisone, 18 Ligi Sao, 20. Gerard Beale 21. Adam Keighran, 22. Issac Luke