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2021 NRL Round Six Preview, Rabbitohs Vs Tigers

Josh Knox previews the Rabbits up against Wests on Saturday afternoon in Sydney. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney, Date: Saturday April 17, Time: 5:30pm

Rabbitohs Team

1. Latrell Mitchell
2. Alex Johnston
3. Dane Gagai
4. Campbell Graham
5. Josh Mansour
6. Cody Walker
7. Adam Reynolds
8. Thomas Burgess
9. Damien Cook
10. Tevita Tatola
11. Jacob Host
12. Jaydn Su’A
13. Cameron Murray
14. Benji Marshall
15. Mark Nicholls
16. Patrick Mago
17. Jai Arrow
18. Hame Sele
19. Liam Knight
20. Troy Dargan
21. Jaxson Paulo

Team Changes

IN: Cody Walker
Jaxson Paulo
Liam Knight
Troy Dargan


OUT: Dean Hawkins

Tigers Team

1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. James Roberts
4. Asu Kepaoa
5. Tommy Talau
6. Adam Doueihi
7. Luke Brooks
8. James Tamou
9. Jake Simpkin
10. Stefano Utoikamanu
11. Joe Ofahengaue
12. Luciano Leilua
13. Alex Twal
14. Moses Mbye
15. Luke Garner
16. Thomas Mikaele
17. Zane Musgrove
18. Jacob Liddle
19. Alex Seyfarth
20. Tom Amone
21. Michael Chee-Kam

Team Changes

IN: Alex Seyfarth
Asu Kepaoa
Jake Simpkin
Tom Amone


OUT:
Joseph Leilua

Referee: Gerard Sutton

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Rabbitohs

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The Rabbitohs have kickstarted their season very nicely, sitting with a 4-1 record through five rounds, and comfortably in the top four, coming off the back of a comprehensive 35-6 win over Brisbane thanks to a double from star fullback Latrell Mitchell. The game also featured a piece of history with the first two-point field goal slotted by Souths’ half Adam Reynolds. Souths welcome back star half Cody Walker who will add even more attacking prowess to an already solid attacking team. The Rabbitohs will fancy themselves to put on an attacking masterclass against the Tigers, who have struggled early in 2021.

Tigers

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The Tigers have been on the end of some good performances from a number of the stronger teams to begin 2021 – and sit with a 1-4 record – but the one win this season was a game that many would say didn’t deserve to go their way (against Newcastle in round three). The inclusion this week of highly promising rookie Jake Simpkin at dummy half is exciting for Tigers fans with the young rake leading the try scoring in the NSW Cup. Coach Michael Maguire will be expecting a much-improved performance from last week’s loss at home to the lowly North Queensland Cowboys.

PREVIEW

The Rabbitohs have terrorised defences to begin the season, averaging a touch over 28 points per game, but what will impress Wayne Bennett more is their defensive effort. The Rabbitohs have only conceded 60 points through the opening five rounds and have the second best defensive record.

The Tigers have been very disappointing in their defence, with 32 points being scored against them on average through the beginning of the season. The Tigers have been a topic of hot discussion with Michael Maguire being under real pressure after a number of pundits had them finishing in a finals position this season.

Expect a high-scoring clash on a dry Saturday afternoon in Sydney with two promising young fullbacks going head-to-head. Daine Laurie has been a sensation since moving to the Tigers from the Panthers in the off-season and he has been a shining light in a tough start for the team. He opposes Mitchell who is a joint leader of the Dally M Medal leaderboard so far; he’s been very exciting to watch for Souths fans early on.

KEY STAT

The Rabbitohs had a clean sweep of the Tigers in 2020, grabbing an 18-10 win at home before returning the favour away after racing to a 20-point lead and ultimately holding on to a 26-24 win in round 18. Dane Gagai scored four tries between the two fixtures: with his red hot form of late, don’t be surprised to see him crash over in this one.

PREDICTION

This match will be decided in the first half. If the Rabbitohs come out hard and assert their dominance early, the Tigers could be in for a long afternoon. If the Tigers can score early, expect them to be right in the clash in the dying moments. I can only see the first option. 
Rabbitohs by 18.

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