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NRL match preview: South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Newcastle Knights

Date: Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
Venue: Barlow Park, Cairns
Kick-off: 3pm

Teams

South Sydney Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Alex Johnston, Dylan Walker, Kirisome Auva’a, Bryson Goodwin, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, George Burgess, Issac Luke, David Tyrrell, Kyle Turner, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Luke Keary, Ben Lowe, Jason Clark, Thomas Burgess

Newcastle Knights: Sione Mata’utia, Jake Mamo, Dane Gagai, Joseph Leilua, Chanel Mata’utia, Kurt Gidley, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Adam Clydsdale, Willie Mason, Beau Scott, Robbie Rochow, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Travis Waddell, Korbin Sims, Adam Cuthbertson, David Fa’alogo

Preview

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are sitting pretty at second place on the NRL ladder, however after watching fellow high flyers the Roosters fall to lowly Newcastle last week, the green and red will be approaching this game in Cairns carefully.

The Knights find themselves out of finals contention in 14th spot, however look set to be a thorn in the side of some of the more fancied clubs to end the season.

Souths will, however, be confident. They will look to continue their momentum as they head towards the back of the season, having belted the Raiders on Monday night 34-18, a scoreline that flattered the Canberra side.

After that strong performance, coach Michael McGuire has named an unchanged line up, although there is considerable doubt over the fitness of John Sutton. Luke Keary filled in well in the halves for Sutton last week, and looks set to do so again.

One area of concern for the Bunnies would be there goal kicking, Adam Reynolds landing just three from seven last start. While this never looked like costing the side the points, they will need to be landing these in closer games.

The Newcastle side will have taken a great deal of confidence from the win over the Roosters last week, in particular half Tyrone Roberts who was outstanding in a performance that included two tries.

While the loss of Jarrod Mullen for this encounter will make things difficult, in truth the five eight has been far from his best in 2014. The return of Kurt Gidley should offset the loss comfortably.

And while the Knights managed to upset last year’s premiers, the Bunnies look a tougher assignment once again. The Knights have won four out of their past five games showing their form is on the incline, however this clash looks a step to far.

Prediction

Rabbitohs by 10

Sam Dasey studied a Bachelor of Sports Media at UC, graduating at the end of 2013. He has undertaken internships with Canberra Times and Touch Football Australia, as well as a local radio station in Canberra.

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