Date: Saturday August 23rd
Venue: ANZ Stadium
South Sydney Rabbitohs:
Greg Inglis, Alex Johnston, Dylan Walker, Kirisome Auva’a, Lote Tuqiri, Luke Keary, Adam Reynolds, Luke Burgess, Issac Luke, David Tyrrell, Kyle Turner, Chris McQueen, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Jason Clark, Ben Lowe, Joe Picker, Thomas Burgess, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Grevsmuhl
North Queensland Cowboys:
Michael Morgan, Tautau Moga, Matthew Wright, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Robert Lui, Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott, Rory Kostjasyn, Ashton Sims, Tariq Sims, Jason Taumalolo, Glenn Hall. Interchange: Ray Thompson, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper, Sam Hoare
South Sydney Rabittohs will be playing finals footy come the end of the regular season however their opponents on Saturday night, North Queensland Cowboys, are not as sure of their fate with only points difference keeping them in the eight.
Souths are without doubt the form team of the competition having won all of their last five games including a 23-4 victory in Round 22 against fellow Minor Premiership rivals Manly Sea Eagles.
North Queensland hit a purple patch of their own, turning around a below par season to give themselves a real chance of finishing in the eight. They had won four in a row until they were beaten by a point in Round 23 by Penrith Panthers.
Adam Reynolds and Luke Keary have clicked and are guiding Souths around the field like a partnership which has been together for years and not weeks. Combine that with the young flyers at the back, marshalled by a rampaging Inglis, then the Cowboys have one hell of a job on their hands.
If they are to stop the Bunnies they need Jonathan Thurston to be on top of his game and he has hit form since swapping from six to seven. Matthew Wright has had a brilliant season and if he can combine with JT they could cause an upset.
In team news, Kyle Turner returns from injury just in time to replace the suspended Ben Te’o and Tariq Sims returns for the Cowboys which means Gavin Cooper moves to the bench.
The Rabbitohs will be dreaming of ending their long wait for a Premiership as the season heads towards the finals although, the Cowboys are in need of a win to extend their season and will not lie down and die at ANZ on Saturday night.
The Cowboys will be a big test but the Bunnies are hungry for finals success and I’m tipping them to continue their charge for the top. Souths by 12.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Ladder Position: 2nd, 32 points, +126
Last 5: WWWWW
Last Win: vs Brisbane, Home, Round 23, 42-16
Last Defeat: vs Titans, Home, Round 17, 10-14
Last time they met: L, Away, Round 16, 20-18
North Queensland Cowboys
Ladder Position: 7th, 26 points, +163
Last 5: LWWWW
Last Win: vs Tigers, Home, Round 22, 64-6
Last Defeat: vs Panthers, Away, Round 23, 23-22
Last time they met: W, Home, Round 16, 20-18