Rhys Sullivan previews what shapes to be a critical clash in the seasons of two historic rivals.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Date: Friday April 29, 7:55pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Rabbitohs: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Josh Mansour 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Siliva Havili 15. Hame Sele 16. Davvy Moale 17. Liam Knight 18. Trent Peoples 19. Jaxson Paulo 20. Richard Kennar 21. Dean Hawkins 22. Peter Mamouzelos 23. Josiah Karapani 24. Shaq Mitchell
Taane Milne misses this week with suspension, meaning Isaiah Tass appears in his 2nd first grade game. Jacob Host is sidelined with a shoulder injury, with Siliva Havili replacing him on the bench.
Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Sean Keppie 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Karl Lawton 12. Ethan Bullemor 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Ben Trbojevic 16. Kurt De Luis 17. Toafofoa Sipley 18. Morgan Harper 19. Jorge Taufua 20. James Roumanos 21. Viliami Fifita 22. Josh Schuster 23. Kaeo Weekes 24. Jacob Sykes
Marin Tapau and Sean Keppie return after missing last weeks match, a direct swap for unavailable duo Taniela Paseka and Haumole Olakau’atu. Morgan Harper is dropped to 18th man with Tolutau Koula returning. Andrew Davey also misses out through injury, with Kurt De Luis replacing him. Ben Trbojevic also returns on the bench, joining Toafofoa Sipley who is replaced in the run on side by Ethan Bullemor.
Referee: Grant Atkins
With both sides coming off losses in Round 7, this game is critical for both their short term and long term aspirations for 2022. While Manly had won 4 straight before their loss to Cronulla, they had done so somewhat unconvincingly and questions still linger about where they lie this season. As for Souths, their 3-4 record- featuring losses to Brisbane and a last-start loss to the Tigers- has raised eyebrows around whether the reigning runners up will even make the finals this season.
Both sides remain without their star fullbacks for another week. Tom Trbojevic is still at least a week away from returning from a knee injury, while Latrell Mitchell has jetted to America to meet a world-class hamstring specialist after 2 injuries in 3 seasons. That should not affect his expected return date of Round 13, however.
As you’d expect from two sides with so much history, Manly and Souths have history against each other. The two sides met in the 1951 and 1968 Grand Finals, with Souths emerging victorious on both occasions. More recently they met in the 2021 Preliminary Final and the 2019 Semi-Final- again with the Rabbitohs winning both games. In fact, the Rabbitohs have won the last 5 meetings between the two teams.
Most of this game will be decided by the halves and locks on both sides. Cody Walker hasn’t gotten off to a great start individually, but he gets a chance to lift against the incumbent Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans. Meanwhile, the clash between Jake Trbojevic and Cam Murray could not only decide the outcome of this game- but possibly who wears the number 13 jersey for New South Wales come Origin I in 40 days’ time.Embed from Getty Images
- Total Record: Played 147, Manly 77, South Sydney 70.
- Biggest wins: Manly 54-0 (Round 22, 1975), South Sydney 56-16 (Round 15 2020)
- South Sydney is the team Manly has played the most in the history of their club.
- John Sutton holds the record for most appearances in this fixture, with 28.
- Notable players to play on both sides: Glenn Stewart, Tom Mooney, Phil Blake, Dylan Walker, Mark Carroll.
Manly by 10.
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