Brad Inger previews the Magic Round clash at Suncorp Stadium between the Warriors and the Rabbitohs. Here’s what we have to look forward to.
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Viliami Vailea 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Euan Aitken 12. Tohu Harris 13. Jazz Tevaga 14. Aaron Pene 15. Ben Murdoch-Masila 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Jack Murchie 18. Eliesa Katoa 20. Rocco Berry 21. Pride Petterson-Robati 22. Edward Kosi 23. Junior Ratuva 24. Ronald Volkman 25. Freddy Lussick
The Warriors welcome the return of their Skipper Tohu Harris, from injury for his first match in 2022; Marcelo Montoya also returns from suspension. Adam Pompey moves to the centres, and Rocco Berry and Eliesa Katoa have been dropped to the extended bench, joining new signings Ronald Volkman and Freddy Lussick, who arrived midweek from the Roosters.Embed from Getty Images
Rabbitohs: 1. Blake Taafe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Jaxson Paulo 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Jai Arrow 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Davvy Moale 16. Siliva Havili 17. Liam Knight 18. Peter Mamouzelos 19. Isaiah Tass 20. Josh Mansour 21. Shaquai Mitchell 22. Dean Hawkins 23. Trent Peoples 24. Josiah Karapani
Cameron Murray is out after injuring his neck and shoulder last week; this sees Jai Arrow move to lock with Jacob Host moving into the second row. Thomas Burgess also returns from injury, and new signing Kodi Nikorima is named on the bench to face his former club after leaving them this week.
Referee: Ben Cummins
The Warriors come into Magic Round as a team that has hit rock bottom after losing 29-10 to a 12-man Sharks. To get back into the winner’s circle, the Warriors need their spine to step up and start creating attacking opportunities; the forward pack is delivering up front, so it’s time for the halves to do their part. The return of Tohu Harris will also bring some much-needed leadership that has been lacking this season.
The Rabbitohs enter this round, hurting from a 32-12 defeat to the Broncos. Losing Cameron Murray is massive, but the biggest issue Souths have had this season is their ball handling, leading the NRL with 123 errors to date. If they want to get the win here, they need to show the ball more respect before targeting the Warrior’s edges which have been exposed plenty in the past month; Campbell Graham should be expected to have a big night against the inexperienced Viliami Vailea.
If both sides bring their best effort, this should be a great way to start day two of Magic Round. These are sides desperate to get back into form. The Rabbitohs have been patchy but go into this game as heavy favourites, but they cannot take the New Zealand side lightly. The most intriguing aspect of this match will be how Nikorima performs against his former club after being released at the beginning of the week.Embed from Getty Images
In the 35 clashes between these sides, Souths have a narrow lead with 18 victories to the Warriors 17. The Rabbitohs have won the past five matches between these sides, with the last two games being large wins; 60-22 in 2021 and 40-12 in 2020. The Warriors last tasted victory against Souths in Round One of the 2018 season with a 32-20 win in Perth.
Rabbitohs by 16
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