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2021 NRL Round 20 Preview, Dragons Vs Rabbitohs

Craig Cauchi previews the Dragons and Rabbitohs as they take a trip to Rockhampton. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Date: 1/8, Time: 6:25pm

Dragons Team

1. Tyrell Sloan
2. Mathew Feagai
3. Corey Norman
4. Talatau Amone
5. Gerard Beale
6. Jayden Sullivan
7. Ben Hunt
8. Josh Kerr
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Poasa Faamausili
11. Billy Burns
12. Tyrell Fuimaono
13. Tariq Sims
14. Adam Clune
15. Jaiyden Hunt
16. Jackson Ford
17. Kaide Ellis
18. Cody Ramsey
19. Matt Dufty
20. Jordan Pereira
21. Brayden Wiliame

Team Changes

IN: Billy Burns, Brayden Wiliame, Corey Norman, Jackson Ford, Jaiyden Hunt, Poasa Faamausili, Talatau Amone, Tyrell Sloan
OUT: Blake Lawrie, Jack Bird, Jack De Belin, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Josh McGuire

Rabbitohs Team

1. Latrell Mitchell
2. Josh Mansour
3. Dane Gagai
4. Campbell Graham
5. Jaxson Paulo
6. Cody Walker
7. Adam Reynolds
8. Mark Nicholls
9. Damien Cook
10. Thomas Burgess
11. Keaon Koloamatangi
12. Jayden Su’A
13. Jai Arrow
14. Blake Taaffe
15. Liam Knight
16. Patrick Mago
17. Jacob Host
18. Taane Milne
19. Davvy Moale
20. Dean Hawkins
21. Braidon Burns

Team Changes

IN: Campbell Graham, Davvy Moale, Dean Hawkins, Liam Knight
OUT:
Cameron Murray

Referee: Chris Butler

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Dragons

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Another week and another host of changes forced upon the Dragons. Black Lawrie, Jack Bird, Jack De Belin, and Josh McGuire will serve their Covid ban breaches while Jamayne Toaunoa-Brown returns to the Warriors. Corey Norman returns in the centres and Tyrell Sloan is selected at fullback. The Dragons listed reserves are all outside backs – Dufty and Ramsey named – opening up the possibility for late changes.

Rabbitohs

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The Rabbitohs lose Cameron Murray for the week but see Liam Knight and Campbell Graham return to the 17. Jai Arrow moves to lock after his return match against the Warriors.

Last weeks demolition of the Warriors was this teams seventh win in a row, matching their early season win streak. A victory this week will give them eight on the trot for the first time this year.

PREVIEW

Tariq Sims will line up for his 200th first grade game and they’ll need nothing but his best. Moved to the lock position, Tariq’s most important contribution needs to be controlling the line speed of the defence. The Dragons have been caught out in the past two matches for having a passive defensive line. The teams around them have lifted in intensity while the Dragons look stuck in the spot. All it takes is one aggressive player to lead the pack and with what they have available, this falls upon Tariq to deliver.

Wayne Bennett is spoilt for choices as he leads his team into a match against a side that is arguably in worse form than their last opponents. The 60 points were put on despite Adam Reynolds being rested at the back end of the half and Cody Walker battling a knee injury. Rabbitohs sit comfortably in third position and could afford to rest one or both of their halves. They have the attacking weapons across the park to cover for the loss.

KEY STAT

Rockhampton is the star attraction for this match. Home to Dragons coach Anthony Griffin and Dragons captain Ben Hunt, Rockhampton is an important Queensland rugby league location. This match will be the first NRL game played in the ‘Beef City.’

PREDICTION

Rabbitohs have only lost to the two teams above them and it won’t change after this match. Dragons and Rabbitohs play again this year in the final round so expect this one to be close. Rabbitohs by 14. 

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