Rhys Sullivan previews an Indigenous Round matchup between two classic rivals
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Wests Tigers
Venue: Accor Stadium
Date: Saturday, May 28, 5:30pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Rabbitohs: 1. Blake Taaffe 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. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Hame Sele 14. Liam Knight 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Siliva Havili 17. Kodi Nikorima 18. Josh Mansour 19. Isaiah Tass 20. Trent Peoples 21. Shaq Mitchell 22. Dean Hawkins 23. Izaac Thompson 24. Cameron Murray
Tevita Tatola, Taane Milne and, crucially, Cameron Murray have all been named despite dealing with various injuries. Murray is still very much in doubt, but will be pushing to play to assure he is named in NSW’s squad for Game 1 of State of Origin. Mark Nicholls is also back and will start on the bench. Hame Sele is named to start at lock, with Trent Peoples dropping to the reserves.Embed from Getty Images
Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. Asu Kepaoa 3. Starford To’a 4. Brent Naden 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jake Simpkin 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Kelma Tuilagi 15. Alex Twal 16. Fa’amanu Brown 17. Stefano Utoikamanu 18. Alex Seyfarth 19. Jock Madden 20. Jacob Liddle 21. Tyrone Peachey 22. Fonua Pole 23. Junior Tupou 24. David Nofoaluma
Luke Brooks returns from injury, however, Jackson Hastings is in doubt as he deals with an ankle injury. Jock Madden is in the reserves, should he be needed to replace the halfback. David Nofoaluma is named on the end of the reserves but is unlikely to play as he goes through concussion protocol.
Referee: Chris Sutton
On April 23rd, the Tigers took their second win of 2022 by beating the Rabbitohs in a thrilling game at Bankwest. Five weeks later, the clubs are set to meet a game in a match which means so much for both sides.
The Tigers enter this match as they did in Round 7: off the back of a win, albeit this time against the lowly Bulldogs. However, if Wests entertain any hope of breaking their decade long finals drought this season, they will be desperate for a fourth win of the season.
Meanwhile, for Souths, they come in off the back of a rather heavy loss to a Raiders outfit that hasn’t overly impressed in 2022. Depending on other results, Souths could sit outside the top 8 with a loss in this one, so expect them to be fired up for this one.
The rivalry between the Tigers and Rabbitohs goes beyond the year 2000 merger that created the current Tigers club. From the 1909 decision by Souths to kick off the grand final while Balmain formed a picket fence outside the stadium, 1969’s go slow tactics employed by the Tigers which handed the Rabbitohs their only GF loss between 1967 and 1971, and even a sprinkling of modern classics, these teams always seem to find themselves in classic encounters.
With Latrell Mitchell inching closer to a return from a hamstring injury, time is running out for Blake Taafe to show his worth in first grade. The young fullback will surely hope to firm as the first choice number 14 when the NSW star reclaims the number 1 jersey.
On the other side of the field, the likely absence of Jackson Hastings will mean Luke Brooks will need to step up. Much maligned for his perceived inability to win without a dominant half next to him, Brooks will have to carry Wests to victory on his own back.Embed from Getty Images
- Overall record: (As Wests Tigers) Played 39, Wests 22, South Sydney 17.
- Biggest wins: Tigers 56-6 (Round 22, 2004), Rabbitohs 54-10 (Round 10, 2013)
- Robbie Farah and John Sutton share the record for most appearances in this fixture, with 24 each.
- Notable players to play for both sides: Robbie Farah, Benji Marshall, Chris McQueen, Eddy Pettybourne.
- Western Suburbs (182 games) and Balmain (178 games) remain second and third on South Sydney’s list for most games played against an opponent, despite neither having played an NRL game since 1999.
South Sydney by 10.
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