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The NRL action continues tonight with the clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers, coming to you from Bankwest Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:55pm AEST.
The stakes are high for this one tonight. For the winner, a place in the top eight at the end of the round. For the loser, it’s not panic stations by any means, but in a shortened season you don’t want to lose touch with the eight.
It’s hard to get a read on the Rabbits at the moment. There’s no doubt that they have a talented squad, but they are one or two steps below the best teams in the comp at present.
It was on display last Sunday night. The Rabbits comfortably beat the Bulldogs but didn’t look that good in doing so.
Centre Braidon Burns is out with a season-ending knee injury and his place in the 17 is taken by Bayley Sironen. Wayne Bennett may yet elect to replace Sironen with an interchange back.
The Wests Tigers are a tough, gritty side looking for their first big scalp of the year.
They almost got it last week against the Penrith Panthers. However, the Panthers played strongly in the second half and, coupled with some ill discipline by Joey Leilua specifically, it was enough to get the Panthers home in a tight contest.
There is a bit of extra spice in this one too, with Adam Doueihi lining up against his former club.
In changes, Michael Chee-Kam starts at centre for the suspended Leilua while Chris Lawrence gets a spot on the bench. There is also some mail around that Benji Marshall will be in the squad this weekend.
Souths are backing up from a five-day turnaround, which makes things tougher for them.
However, I think the quality of this team is about to shine through, with the likes of Cameron Murray and Damien Cook due for big games.
South Sydney Rabbitohs by eight.
When: 7:55pm AEST
Where: Bankwest Stadium
TV: Channel 9, Fox League
Online: Kayo, Live Pass
Betting: South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.54, Wests Tigers $2.50
South Sydney Rabbitohs squad
1. Latrell Mitchell, 2. Dane Gagai, 3. Campbell Graham, 4. James Roberts, 5. Alex Johnston, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Tevita Tatola, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Thomas Burgess, 11. Jaydn Su’A, 12. Ethan Lowe, 13. Cameron Murray. Interchange 14. Liam Knight, 15. Bayley Sironen, 16. Patrick Mago, 17. Hame Sele.
Wests Tigers squad
1. Adam Doueihi, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. Michael Chee-Kam, 4. Moses Mbye, 5. Tommy Talau, 6. Josh Reynolds, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Josh Aloiai, 9. Harry Grant, 10. Oliver Clark, 11. Luke Garner, 12. Luciano Leilua, 13. Matt Eisenhuth. Interchange: 14. Elijah Taylor, 15. Thomas Mikaele, 16. Sam McIntyre, 17. Chris Lawrence.