The classic grudge match between the Roosters and Souths will write another chapter for the history books as they face off on Thursday. The Bunnies will be looking to break the Roosters winning streak and secure a place in the top 8.

Last Time Out

The Roosters made it 3 from 3 in a tight contest against the Panthers where almost as many penalties were blown as points were scored. New signing Michael ‘Flash’ Gordon was the star of the show in what has been a career revitalizing move to the Roosters. He scored 2 tries and pulled off a game saving tackle on Tyrone Peachey in the last minute of play as Peachey looked certain to score.

The Souths recorded a solid but unconvincing win over the Knights. The contest was fairly even for the most part but the extra bit of class from players like Cody Walker and Sam Burgess made all the difference.
It was a bit of a madhouse performance from the team. They were ill-disciplined and the insanity came out on the field. George Burgess was swinging elbows, Hymel Hunt was coming in with a swinging arm and Braidon Burns made a shoulder charge. They’ve all been given suspensions as a result, depleting more of the reserves from Souths stocks.

Key Battle

The forwards and ball control. For the Burgess brothers, ball control is a season long battle for them but they’ll want to be getting it right against the Roosters if they’re to have any chance of winning. Against a good team like the Roosters, you can’t afford to turn over easy possession and gift them a chance to apply pressure.

The same goes for the Roosters. The best of teams can put in a poor performance from time to time and one tell-tale sign is always how higher than usual their error count is. Aidan Guerra has been applying to be a honorary Burgess brother with his handling skills lately. If he starts coughing them up and his fellow forwards start catching a case of the dropsies then that could kill off their momentum and invite the Bunnies into the game.

Prediction

The Souths are fielding another new look team after suspensions hit them hard. The Roosters are looking settled and primed to continue their perfect start to the year. Last week alone proved nothing is for certain in the NRL. Strange things can happen in Rugby League and I wouldn’t rule out the Roosters succumbing to complacency.

On paper though this is a game the Roosters shouldn’t drop. Luke Keary will be out to prove a point and given his already stellar form this year it means big trouble for the Bunnies.

However in recent news the Roosters will be without the services of Jake Friend who won’t play due to a facial injury. Friend’s dummy half service is invaluable to the Roosters forward momentum and they will miss his influence greatly. However it’ll give Connor Watson and new recruit Paul Carter a chance to shine in his absence. The boys from Bondi should still have enough class to see them through. Roosters by 6+

Squads
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1 Cody Walker
2 Alex Johnston
3 Siosifa Talakai
4 Robert Jennings
5 Bryson Goodwin
6 John Sutton
7 Adam Reynolds
8 Thomas Burgess
9 Robbie Farah
10 Jason Clark
11 Angus Crichton
12 Kyle Turner
13 Sam Burgess (c)
Interchange:
14 Damien Cook
15 Anthony Cherrington
16 Robbie Rochow
17 Zane Musgrove
Reserves:
18 Dave Tyrrell
19 Tyrell Fuimaono
20 Cam Murray
21 Sitiveni Moceidreke

Sydney Roosters
1 Michael Gordon
2 Daniel Tupou
3 Latrell Mitchell
4 Joseph Manu
5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
6 Luke Keary
7 Mitchell Pearce
8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9 Jake Friend (c)
10 Dylan Napa
11 Boyd Cordner (c)
12 Mitchell Aubusson
13 Aidan Guerra
Interchange:
14 Isaac Liu
15 Zane Tetevano
16 Ryan Matterson
17 Connor Watson
Reserves:
18 Chris Smith
19 Paul Carter
20 Blake Ferguson
22 Mitchell Cornish