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2020 NRL Round One Preview, Rabbitohs Vs Sharks

Todd Warren previews the round one clash between South Sydney and Cronulla with both teams looking to get the season started the right way.

FORM LINE

Rabbitohs

Souths were too strong for the Dragons in the Charity Shield match and came out on top 26-12 with a big second half thanks to a lot of fringe first graders trying to push their case for a chance in the regular season. They also won their first trial beating the Eels 28-24 however there was not too many first graders for Souths and they still got the job done against quite a strong Eels team. Souths also did quite well in the Nines, ultimately being eliminated in the semi by eventual winners the Cowboys.

Sharks

The Sharks sent a second string team over to Papua New Guinea for their trial against the Bulldogs and lost 18-30. Their second trial against Manly was better news as they got a 28-16 win with Connor Tracey scoring a double. They didn’t do that well at the Nines and didn’t make it out of the group stage.

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SQUAD NEWS

South Sydney

  1. Latrell Mitchell
  2. Dane Gagai
  3. James Roberts
  4. Braidon Burns
  5. Campbell Graham
  6. Cody Walker
  7. Adam Reynolds (c)
  8. Tevita Tatola
  9. Damien Cook
  10. Thomas Burgess
  11. Jayden Su’a
  12. Cameron Murray
  13. Liam Knight
  14. Mark Nicholls
  15. Ethan Lowe
  16. Hame Sele
  17. Alex Johnston

Cronulla

  1. William Kennedy
  2. Sione Katoa
  3. Josh Morris
  4. Jesse Ramien
  5. Ronaldo Mulitalo
  6. Shaun Johnson
  7. Chad Townsend
  8. Andrew Fifita
  9. Blayke Brailey
  10. Aaron Woods
  11. Briton Nikora
  12. Wade Graham (c)
  13. Jack Williams
  14. Connor Tracey
  15. Braden Hamlin-Uele
  16. Toby Rudolf
  17. Scott Sorensen

KEY STAT

The Sharks have won six of the last ten games between the two, however Souths have won the last six games at ANZ, winning every matchup since 2009. Round 20 in 2019 was the last game with Cronulla winning 39-24 with Bronson Xerri scoring a double at Pointsbet Stadium.

BATTLE TO WATCH

Cameron Murray has undoubtedly been one of the best back rowers in the game the last couple seasons. He has been playing at lock previously but a reshuffled forward pack has moved him to the edge so it remains to be seen if he has the same impact or how it will affect his game time. I would assume he will move back to the middle when Liam Knight comes off for a spell while Ethan Lowe comes on. He lines up against fellow NSW Origin player Wade Graham, who is also one of the premier back rowers in the game but has been a bit unlucky with injuries the last few seasons. Both run a great line and while Murray is probably better defensively, Graham is a very good ball player thanks to playing in the halves in his younger days. Both these guys are crucial to their teams success so expect them to play a big part in this game.

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GAME DETAILS

Date: Saturday March 14
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Kick-off: 4:30pm

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