MATCH PREVIEW | South Sydney Rabbitohs vs New Zealand Warriors

The South Sydney Rabbitohs make the journey to the Sunshine Coast and will be looking at putting on a show as they host a New Zealand Warriors team desperate to get their first away win of the season.

Team Form Guide

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South Sydney Rabbitohs

The Rabbitohs suffered their first defeat of the season in round four, narrowly losing to the Manly Sea Eagles 13-12.

Their poor defence will be a massive concern for Wayne Bennett, but they still will go into the match as firm favourites.

New Zealand Warriors

After two dismal weeks, the Warriors finally returned to the winners circle – defeating the Gold Coast Titans 26-10.

The Titans were woeful, and this took the shine off the win for New Zealand, and they will be looking at making a statement on the Sunshine Coast.

Squad News

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Greg Inglis is still out this week, and Kyle Turner has moved into the starting centre position.

George Burgess also moves to the starting line-up with Liam Knight and Tevita Tatola moving to the bench.

South Sydney Rabbitohs’ 21-Man Squad: 1. Alex Johnston, 2. Corey Allan, 3. Kyle Turner, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Campbell Graham, 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. George Burgess, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Thomas Burgess, 11. John Sutton 12. Sam Burgess, 13. Cameron Murray, 14. Tevita Tatola, 15. Mark Nicholls, 16. Ethan Lowe, 17. Liam Knight, 18. Connor Tracey, 19. Bayley Sironen, 20. Rhys Kennedy, 21. Jacob Gagan

New Zealand Warriors

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Rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita retains his starting spot after his strong debut in round four.

Sam Lisone returns from suspension and has taken Ligi Sao’s spot on the bench, Adam Blair moves into the starting 13, swapping with Isaiah Papali’i.

Issac Luke has been named in the extended squad and will be given time to prove his fitness and could be a late inclusion to the starting line-up.

New Zealand Warriors 22-Man Squad: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. David Fusitu’a, 3. Peta Hiku, 4. Solomone Kata, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 7. Blake Green, 8. Agnatius Paasi, 9. Karl Lawton, 10. Leeson Ah Mau, 11. Adam Blair, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Lachlan Burr, 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Isaiah Papali’i, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Sam Lisone, 18. Ligi Sao, 20. Gerard Beale, 21. Adam Keighran, 23. Issac Luke

Head to Head

Played: 31: South Sydney Rabbitohs 14, New Zealand Warriors 17

Latest Result: South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-10, round 12 2018

Key Battle

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It will be the battle of the top try scorers this week as the current leading try scorer Campbell Graham faces 2018’s leading try scorer David Fusitu’a.

Graham has relished his opportunities so far in 2019 and shows no sign of slowing down; Fusitu’a – on the other hand – has had a slow start to the season but after getting his first try of the year last week he will be looking to increase his tally.

Both sides will want to unleash their strike weapons out wide, and you should expect to see them both on the scorecard at fulltime.

The Important Details

Date: Saturday, April 13

Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium

Kick-Off: 3:00 PM (5:00 PM NZ Time)

Who Will Win?

The Rabbitohs will be relying on their massive pack to gain the advantage over New Zealand; with the Warriors on the back foot, they will target their edges which has been highlighted as frail.

The Warriors forwards are in for a tough night and will need to front up if they are going to come away with the victory.

Harris-Tavita is going to have to step up and help Blake Green stare the ship as the Rabbitohs will be piling the pressure on the veteran halfback.

If the Warriors can inject their explosive backline into their attack and tighten up their defensive effort, they could walk away with the win.

I see the Rabbitohs being too strong for the Warriors, taking advantage of their size and mobility. New Zealand’s inefficient defence will not be able to contain them.

Rabbitohs by eight.

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