Matt Attard previews the round 18 clash between the Bulldogs and the Rabbitohs. Here’s what we have to look forward to …
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney
Date: Sunday July 17, 6:15pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Bulldogs: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Braidon Burns 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Waddell 13. Tevita Pangai Junior 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Kurtis Morrin 16. Joe Stimson 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 19. Matt Dufty 20. Declan Casey 21. Bailey Biondi-Odo 22. Jackson Topine 23. Chris Patolo
One change for the Dogs, with Declan Casey replacing Aaron Schoupp. Matt Burton escaped with a fine from Origin III but should back up. Tevita Pangai jnr also returns after a Round 16 ankle injury.Embed from Getty Images
Rabbitohs: team list
Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Taane Milne 4. Isaiah Tass 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Jed Cartwright 16. Siliva Havili 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 19. Richard Kennar 20. Davvy Moale 21. Shaq Mitchell 22. Blake Taaffe 23. Ben Lovett
Alex Johnston and Mark Nicholls return for Souths, as does Lachlan Ilias. Damien Cook and Cameron Murray should back up from Origin.
Referee: Chris Butler
After a week off the Bulldogs – and interim coach Mick Potter – will be looking to continue a strong month of football that included big wins over Parramatta and Wests, while a narrow loss to Cronulla pre-Origin III will have them raring to go.
Souths also carry confidence into the class, with Latrell Mitchell returning to spark life in Cody Walker and the team. They posted a 40-28 win over Newcastle last weekend where Mitchell had a hand in two tries, broke six tackles, and looked dangerous with every touch.
These games always have some extra spice, and with the Bulldogs likely to be missing firebrand players Aaron Schoupp (COVID) and Tevita Pangai Junior (ankle), someone else will have to step up to take on Mitchell and the big Bunnies pack. Souths will be without Cameron Murray (concussion).
It’s hard to predict a winner given the topsy-turvy form of the Bulldogs, however Souths seem to have found their consistency with two strong performances in a row. Whether that continues now Mitchell has returned remains to be seen.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner is showing his worth since returning from a massive injury lay-off, consistently threatening the defence with his footwork and offloading ability. He should earn himself a new contract with a strong showing against Souths.
For the Rabbitohs, winger Alex Johnston looks set for that famous try scoring record as he continues to notch up points. With the Bulldogs’ edge defence being a worry all season long they will be sure to exploit that side on the weekend.
Schoupp’s absence sees young Declan Casey, who had a nightmare debut two weeks ago, come onto the wing with Jacob Kiraz playing centre. This could prove disastrous unless they combine defensively.
If they don’t, Johnston will have a field day, especially with Mitchell and Walker loving to link on that left hand side in attack.
Canterbury and Souths last played in this year’s traditional Good Friday afternoon game, with Souths winning 36-16Embed from Getty Images
Canterbury and Souths have played in two grand finals (1967 and 2014), with Souths winning both.
The Rabbits won 12–10 in ’67 and 30–6 in ’14, winning their first premiership since 1971.
Souths by six.
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