Date: Friday 4th August
Venue: Allianz Stadium
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Blake Ferguson 5. Brendan Elliot 6. James Maloney 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Sam Moa 9. Jake Friend 10. Dylan Napa 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Sio Siua Taukeiaho. Interchange: 14. Mitchell Aubusson 15. Isaac Liu 16. Kane Evans 17. Suaia Matagi 18. Matt McIlwrick
South Sydney Rabbitohs:
1. Alex Johnston 2. Joel Reddy 3. Dylan Walker 4. Kirisome Auva’a 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Luke Keary 7. Adam Reynolds 8. George Burgess 9. Cameron McInnes 10. David Tyrrell 11. Glenn Stewart 12. Chris McQueen 13. Kyle Turner. Interchange: 14. Jason Clark 15. Chris Grevsmuhl 16. Tim Grant 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Paul Carter
Sydney Roosters will be looking to pick up a third consecutive Minor Premiership when they face fierce rivals South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night.
It will be the third year in a row that the two have met in the final round of the regular season, with the Roosters winning on both occasions.
They would love nothing more than to do it again and claim the title of Minor Premiers in front of their neighbours, however if Brisbane fail to win on Thursday night they will finish top regardless of the outcome.
Souths haven’t enjoyed the best defence of their Premiership title so far but they are guaranteed a top eight spot which means they will have a chance to lift the Provan-Summons Trophy again this year.
If they are to complete a double over the Roosters and repeat their 34-26 round 2 victory it could see the Rabbitohs jump from 7th to 4th, although they would need other results to go their way.
With Greg Inglis injured and Isaac Luke serving a suspension for a shoulder charge Michael Maguire’s men will have it all to do though, and it could be an uphill battle from the word go.
The Roosters are in great from of late and enjoyed a comfortable 46-10 win at Brookvale Oval over Manly Sea Eagles, as they made it 11 wins in a row.
Souths were embarrassed at home last week, with Brisbane Broncos strolling to a 47-12 victory which knocked them out of the top four.
The battle between the number nines will be an intriguing one as the inexperienced Cameron McIness goes toe-to-toe with one of the competition’s best hookers Jake Friend. Friend has been pivotal in the Roosters’ current run of wins and will be looking to dominate the middle of the field defensively and control the tempo of the game. With Luke leaving for New Zealand Warriors then McIness will be desperate to make that starting jersey his own, and if he performs well in this game it won’t hurt his chances.
There are two front rowers who could also play a big part in this match-up. George Burgess is unstoppable when he is at his best and is a danger almost every time he touches the ball, but he will be going up against the big-hitting Dylan Napa on Friday night. Watch out for the first collision between these two as it could be brutal.
The back row is packed with talent on both sides and we could see another great battle between Boyd Cordner and Glenn Stewart, as both can be a threat close to the line and don’t shy away in defence either.
This looks set to be blockbuster and with so much at stake it is not to be missed, as the Roosters will be looking to secure top spot and Souths will be out to earn an easier route to the grand final.
Prediction: Roosters by 16.