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2021 NRL Round 16 Preview, Tigers Vs Rabbitohs

Jem Nash previews this round 16 battle between the Tigers and Rabbitohs where the Bunnies will look to solidify their spot in the top four while the Tigers are hoping to keep their slim finals chances alive. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Date: Sunday, July 4, Time: 4:05pm AEST

Tigers Team

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

Team Changes

IN: Adam Doueihi, Thomas Mikaele
OUT: Tommy Talau, Tom Amone

Rabbitohs Team

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

Team Changes

IN: Benji Marshall, Liam Knight
OUT:
Blake Taaffe, Tevita Tatola

Referee: Grant Atkins

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Tigers

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The Tigers were embarrassed in their last outing, going down 66-16 against the Storm back in round 15. They were down 40-0 at half time, putting up little fight as the Storm did as they pleased. They get a big boost this week with Adam Doueihi returning to the side, who will provide a constant threat on the edge. They have a big hole to dig themselves out of if they want to play finals for the first time since 2011 but it doesn’t get any easier against a Rabbitohs team in good form.

Rabbitohs

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Benji Marshall returns in the 14 jumper, while Tevita Tatola is out with a knee injury, with Hame Sele promoted to the starting side and Liam Knight coming onto the bench. The Rabbitohs come into this game on the back of three straight wins and currently sit fourth, two wins clear of the Roosters in fifth. Look for Latrell Mitchell to continue his strong form, after starring in both Origin wins for the Blues.

PREVIEW

The Rabbitohs were looking in some trouble after conceding 50 points twice in three weeks to the Storm and the Panthers, but have since rediscovered their mojo, wining three on the trot against the Eels, Knights, and Broncos. Mitchell is once again the key. He was simply brilliant for the Blues in State of Origin, wreaking havoc on the left edge and he will take plenty of confidence out of the series win.

He goes up against arguably the Tigers’ best player so far this season in Daine Laurie. He has five tries this year to go along with seven try assists, six line breaks and 62 tackle breaks, while also averaging 141 run metres per game. He has a great chance to see exactly where he sits, coming up against one of the form fullbacks in the competition, and the Tigers will need him to step up if they’re a chance of walking away with the win.

After two big losses, the Tigers need to get off to a better start. If they allow the Rabbitohs to get on top early, they will be nearly impossible to run down. After conceding 106 points through their last two games, defence will be the key, and if they can keep the Rabbitohs’ weapons in check, they might be in with a chance.

KEY STAT

The Tigers have conceded the second most points in the competition, while the Rabbitohs sit fifth in points allowed, even after conceding at least 50 points in two of those games.

PREDICTION

Time is running out for the Tigers in 2021, but it just doesn’t get any easier. The Rabbitohs have weapons all across the park and should be too strong.

Rabbitohs by 16.

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