A red line has already be drawn threw the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 2017 campaigns, but both of these clubs will be playing for pride and ensuring the future of their respective coaches come Thursday night at ANZ stadium.
Last Time Out
The Rabbitohs had absolutely no right to come away with victory last weekend against St George-Illawarra. Souths were up against a Dragons side that were desperate to keep their position in the top eight and with five minutes until full-time St George had a healthy lead. A lead which seemed to big too chase down but there was an unexpected twist in this tale. Two late tries to John Sutton and Bryson Goodwin and an amazing sideline conversion from Adam Reynolds got the bunnies over the line by 26-24 and brought their four game losing streak to an end.
The Bulldogs produced another disappointing performance. It was always going to be a tough task to try and end the Eels five game winning streak on a wet and miserable night at ANZ Stadium. The Eels were the polar opposite on the night and were able to apply plenty of pressure on the Bulldogs defence. Canterbury were hardly inside the Eels half during the first period due to constant errors on the halfway line. Their attack killed them again as Parramatta were victors by 20-6.
Line up changes
Aaron Gray is scheduled to return from his achilles injury for South Sydney and will replace Hymel Hunt at centre. Young gun Campbell Graham is still expected to retain his number 5 jumper ahead of Robert Jennings. The Bulldogs haven’t changed their line up from last weekend with Chase Stanley getting another shot at his halves role with Josh Reynolds. Matt Frawley will continue to play off the bench with Moses Mybe fulfilling the hooker role once more.
The Two Coaches
Despite both teams being ruled out of finals contention in 2017, there will be many people keeping a close eye on the outcome of this game. The future of both Des Hasler and Michael Maguire is the biggest talking point for this game. Bulldogs fans and many critics of the game are finding it difficult to comprehend how a Canterbury team with so much talent and potential have struggled so much to score points. Maguire’s Rabbitohs have missed September football in two consecutive seasons and have found it hard to find consistency in their football. These two men have achieved premiership success in the pass and know what it takes to build a winning culture. How these two teams play in the last four rounds of the regular season will not only dictate how 2018 will pan out, but which coach will still have their job.
After their magical come from behind victory, South Sydney should come away with victory in what could be a tight clash. Points won’t come easy for the boys from Redfern as the Bulldogs have show a lot passion and enthusiasm in defence this season. But after last week’s performance the Rabbitohs would certainly be filled with confidence and could possibly go a winning streak to end the season on a high.
Souths by 4
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Thursday 10 August, 7:50PM at ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Bryson Goodwin 3. Aaron Gray 4. Tyrell Fuimaono 5. Campbell Graham 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Zane Musgrove 11. John Sutton 12. Angus Crichton 13. Sam Burgess. Interchange: 14. Robbie Farah 15. George Burgess 16. Kyle Turner 17. Cameron Murray Reserves: 18. Anthony Cherrington 19. Jack Gosiewski 20. David Tyrrell 21. Sitiveni Moceidreke
Bulldogs: 1. William Hopoate 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Brenko Lee 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Chase Stanley 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Moses Mbye 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Adam Elliot 13. David Klemmer. Interchange: 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 16. Danny Fualalo 17. Matt Frawley Reserves: 19. Francis Tualau 20. Rhyse Martin 21. Asipeli Fine 23. Michael Lichaa