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South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney Rabbitohs
The South Sydney Rabbitohs host the Parramatta Eels in a blockbuster top four clash at Stadium Australia. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 5:30pm (AEST).
While both sides occupy lofty positions on the ladder, there is an air of desperation as both sides, coming off disappointing losses, look to cement their premiership credentials. The Rabbitohs conceded 50 points for the second time in three weeks against the red-hot Panthers on Sunday, with the Eels falling to the improving Sea Eagles just a couple of hours later.
Results are pretty even between the two historically, but the Rabbitohs have won four of their last five clashes against the Eels dating back to 2018, including bundling them out of last year’s finals series. The Rabbitohs have also won the last two matches between the two at Stadium Australia, both in 2018. The Eels have a 49 per cent win rate at Stadium Australia, with the Rabbitohs not all that much better at their home ground at 56 per cent.
In team news, the Rabbitohs welcome back Jacob Host and more importantly Cameron Murray at lock. Jai Arrow moves from the bench into the starting side for Tom Burgess while Taane Milne replaces Josh Mansour, who suffered a head knock against the Panthers. For the Eels, Reagan Campbell-Gillard has been suspended for a week with Oregon Kaufusi promoted to the starting side. Marata Niukore makes his return via the bench.
Souths’ performance last week against the Panthers was baffling. They had Latrell Mitchell returning, took their home game to Dubbo to try and showcase the game and had plenty of players needing to push their claims for an Origin berth, but turned in a horrid performance that coach Wayne Bennett felt compelled to apologise for after the game.
With the Blues side named on Sunday night, this is the last chance for the likes of Mitchell, Damien Cook, Cody Walker and Murray to push for a spot. These are their marquee men anyway, and they owe it to their fans to spark the team this week.
The Eels loss to the Sea Eagles wasn’t as catastrophic in comparison. Manly have been building for a while, even pushing the Panthers when they played in Round 8. But if the Eels are going to contend for the premiership, they need to do better than last week. They were in the game for a long time, but errors at key moments and trying to play around the Sea Eagles was ultimately their undoing.
With Dylan Brown still missing, and Jakob Arthur only in his third game, Mitch Moses needs to take more control this week. The opportunities will be there for him and Clint Gutherson this week if the likes of Nathan Brown and Junior Paulo can win the middle.
This will be a close one, and we will see a response from the Rabbitohs, but the Eels have been the better side in 2021 and will bounce back for their tenth win of the season.
Eels by 4.
1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Javid Bowen, 4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Scott Drinkwater, 7. Jake Clifford, 8. Tom Gilbert, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Jordan McLean (c), 11. Shane Wright, 12. Mitch Dunn, 13. Coen Hess
Bench/Reserves: 14. Jake Granville, 15. Peter Hola, 16. Coorey Jensen, 17. Heilum Luki | 18. Justin O’Neill, 19. Ben Condon, 20. Daejarn Asi, 21. Emry Pere
1. Reece Walsh, 2. Marcelo Montoya, 3. Adam Pompey, 4. Euan Aitken, 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Kane Evans, 11. Jack Murchie, 12. Eliesa Katoa, 13. Tohu Harris
Bench/Reserves: 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Leeson Ah Mau, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Ben Murdoch-Masila | 18. Taniela Otukolo, 20. Rocco Berry, 21. Sean O’Sullivan, 22. Jackson Frei