As the National Rugby League season draws closer, we look at how the South Sydney Rabbitohs will go in 2021.
After falling one game short of the grand final in 2020, and with the hype building during the pre-season, the Rabbitohs will be aiming to hold up the Provan-Summons Trophy on grand final day.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
SigningsEmbed from Getty Images
Jai Arrow (Gold Coast Titans), Josh Mansour (Penrith Panthers), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Jacob Host (St George Illawarra Dragons), Tautau Moga (Newcastle Knights), Taane Milne (New Zealand Warriors).
Corey Allan (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Jack Johns (Newcastle Knights), Bayley Sironen (New Zealand Warriors), Ethan Lowe (retirement), James Roberts (Wests Tigers), Joseph Suaalii (Sydney Roosters), Tom Amone (Wests Tigers), Cory Denniss, Kurt Dillon, Ky Rodwell (unsigned).
Melbourne Storm (A), Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (A), Sydney Roosters (H), Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (A), Brisbane Broncos (H).
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Rabbitohs suffered a tough 20-16 defeat to the Penrith Panthers in last year’s preliminary final. It was the third season in a row that they’ve suffered a loss at the same hurdle (after losses to the Canberra Raiders in 2019 and the Sydney Roosters in 2018). The 2021 season shapes as a realistic chance for them to secure the trophy for the first time since their 2014 triumph over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.Embed from Getty Images
Latrell Mitchell could be named the player to watch each and every year, as it is just so unpredictable which Latrell will show up week in week out. At his best, he is the most entertaining player in the game, but some ‘silly’ plays continue to haunt the superstar fullback. If Mitchell stays fit and healthy, he will be right in contention for the Dally M Medal at season’s end.
A lot of the talk during the pre-season has been the acquisitions that Wayne Bennett has made: bringing Queensland Maroons forward Jai Arrow and 324-game veteran Benji Marshall to the burrow. Arrow comes from a team where he was the key player in a team full of superstars. The key for Arrow this season will be to not overplay his hand and play the role asked of him by his coach. With the new rules being introduced this season, the signing of Marshall to add a third half into the middle of the field might be the cog that has been missing in the last few seasons.Embed from Getty Images
The opening three rounds will be a big test of the Rabbitohs’ credentials for 2021. Matches against last season’s premiers the Melbourne Storm, and a huge clash against the Sydney Roosters in round three, could see them stumble early. They have quite a tough draw, but the squad is full of potential, which should see them prevail against fellow title challengers.
FEARLESS PREDICTIONSEmbed from Getty Images
Top Tryscorer – Josh Mansour.Embed from Getty Images
Top Pointscorer – Adam Reynolds.Embed from Getty Images
Club Player of the Year – Cody Walker.