Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Overall: South Sydney 113 wins, Sydney Roosters 100 wins, 5 draws
Last Five: Sydney Roosters 4 wins, South Sydney 1 win
This clash is there for the taking between two teams that have no lost blood between each other in their long historic rivalry.
While the Roosters are rested after earning direct entry to the preliminary final in the first week of the finals via their 21-12 win over Cronulla, they will be without star centre Latrell Mitchell due to a crusher tackle suspension from the win over the Sharks.
Front-rower Dylan Napa is also still sidelined from his dangerous tackle ban for his hit on Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough in round 24.
The Rabbitohs took a win over the Dragons to reach the preliminary final stage but have no injury concerns for the clash with their long-term rivals.
This match will pit Rabbitohs second-rower Angus Crichton up against the club he will join in 2019.
Key match-up: Adam Reynolds v Cooper Cronk. The rival halfbacks are the chief playmakers for each team and their kicking game in general play is crucial to their chances.
For the Roosters to win: Their forwards need to muscle up against their bigger South Sydney rivals. With Napa still on the sidelines due to his suspension, the likes of Isaac Liu, Boyd Cordner, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Victor Radley need to shore up the middle of the ruck of the Rabbitohs’ pack will dominate the yardage battle in the middle.
For the Rabbitohs to win: Damien Cook needs to pick his moments to play from dummy-half. Souths get success from so many of their attacking raids on the back of Cook’s clever darts.
Stat Attack: Souths skipper Greg Inglis is one try away from becoming the 12th player in premiership history to score 150 tries in his career.
PREDICTION: One of the toughest games to pick in a long time I feel. The Bunnies at full strength and with Siebold’s fresh leadership they will be primed. I am taking into account the Melbourne v Rabbitohs clash in Round 1 of the finals and the way in which this South Sydney outift pushed Bellamy’s boys to the limit. Rabbitohs by 2.