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2021 NRL Round 11 Preview, Rabbitohs Vs Panthers

Jem Nash previews a mouth watering clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers at Apex Oval in Dubbo. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Apex Oval, Date: Sunday, May 23, Time: 2:00pm AEST

Rabbitohs

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

Team Changes

IN: Latrell Mitchell, Josh Mansour, Jacob Host
OUT: Hame Sele, Jed Cartwright, Taane Milne

Panthers

1. Dylan Edwards
2. Charlie Staines
3. Stephen Crichton
4. Matt Burton
5. Brian To’o
6. Jarome Luai
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Moses Leota
9. Apisai Koroisau
10. James Fisher-Harris
11. Viliame Kikau
12. Kurt Capewell
13. Isaah Yeo
14. Tyrone May
15. Scott Sorensen
16. Matthew Eisenhuth
17. Liam Martin
18. Spencer Leniu
19. Mitch Kenny
20. J’maine Hopgood
21. Paul Momirovski

Team Changes

IN: Kurt Capewell
OUT: J’maine Hopgood

Referee: Grant Atkins

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Rabbitohs

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The Rabbitohs receive a big boost this week with Latrell Mitchell making his return from suspension, which pushes Cody Walker back into the halves and Benji Marshall back onto the bench. Josh Mansour also returns to the side as well as Jacob Host. The Bunnies bounced back from a 50-0 thrashing at the hands of the Storm with a 32-22 win over the Sharks in Magic Round last weekend. They raced out to a 20-0 lead after just 30 minutes before the Sharks clawed their way back to within four points, but two late tries sealed the victory. With the team getting back to full strength, they will pose a threat to the undefeated Panthers on Sunday.

Panthers

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Kurt Capewell returns from a concussion for the Panthers which pushes Liam Martin back to the bench and J’maine Hopgood out of the 17. The ladder leaders look nearly unstoppable at the moment, and are coming off back-to-back demolitions of the Sharks and Titans. They will now face one of their toughest tests of the season against the Rabbitohs who will look to solidify their position inside the top four.

PREVIEW

Dubbo gets to host what is arguably the match of the round between two genuine premiership contenders. The Rabbitohs will be hoping to claim the precious scalp of the Panthers, something no other team has been able to do so far this season. There’s no doubting they have the talent to get the job done, but the Panthers are such a well oiled machine with fantastic teamwork; there’s a reason they’re the premiership favourites.

The battle of the halves will be key to determining the outcome of this one, with both pairs boasting formidable combinations. Reynolds and Cleary have arguably the two best kicking games in the competition while Luai and Walker have the ability to create something out of nothing.

The Rabbitohs will have their work cut out for them to try and break through a Panthers defence which has easily established itself as the best in the competition. The Panthers have conceded just 72 points through 10 games, which is 52 points less than the next best in the Storm.

KEY STAT

The Panthers have won their last three clashes by just a combined 13 points, including a thrilling 20-16 win in last year’s preliminary final.

PREDICTION

Panthers by 6

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