2023 NRL Preview Round 24: Rabbitohs Vs Dragons

Andrew Pelechaty previews the Saturday afternoon clash between South Sydney and St George Illawarra.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Venue: Barlow Park, Cairns
Date: Saturday August 12, 3:00pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Jai Arrow 9. Damien Cook 10. Shaquai Mitchell 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray 14. Tallis Duncan 15. Jed Cartwright 16. Siliva Havili 17. Davvy Moale 18. Benjamin Lovett 19. Tyrone Munro 20. Peter Mamouzelos 21. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 22. Dean Hawkins

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Max Feagai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Michael Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Ben Murdoch-Masila 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Ryan Couchman 16. Toby Couchman 17. Zane Musgrove 18. Jaiyden Hunt 19. Sione Finau 20. Nick Lui-Toso 21. Paul Turner 22. Tautau Moga

Referee: Ben Cummins

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MATCHDAY PREVIEW

With a month to go until finals, South Sydney are entering “must win” territory.

Clinging onto eighth on points differential (ahead of Parramatta and North Queensland, with Manly Warringah one point behind them), Souths finish the regular season against St George Illawarra, the bye, an in-form Newcastle, and the old rivals the Sydney Roosters (always a spicy content regardless of ladder position).

While the Dragons game is probably the “easiest”, the joint venture side won’t be a pushover.

Mikaele Ravalawa scored all four of the Dragons’ tries as they led Parramatta 20-10 early in the second half. But the Eels – who are also pushing for the finals – scored three more tries (Sean Russell, Junior Paulo, Bryce Cartwright) to win 26-20.

Souths missed the chance to consolidate their top eight spot by losing to Cronulla-Sutherland 26-16 in Perth last weekend. A double to Braydon Trindall helped Cronulla to a 26-0 lead after 60 minutes, and tries to Alex Johnston, Lachlan Ilias, and Isaiah Tass were too little, too late for Souths.

After their home game in Perth, Souths have taken the Dragons game to Barlow Park; who can handle the Saturday afternoon Cairns heat better?

The last clash between the Rabbitohs and Dragons (Round 15) was bizarre: the Dragons led 36-14 with seven minutes left, then Jacob Host, Ilias, and Campbell Graham scored in the space of five minutes as Souths nearly pulled off a miracle.

Tom Burgess is out after copping a three-game ban for a careless high tackle against the Sharks, while – for the Dragons – Michael Molo replaces his brother Francis (concussion protocols). Moses Suli also returns while Max Feagai replaces Zac Lomax.

While the Dragons will throw everything at Souths, expect the desperate Rabbits to find enough to win here.

LAST TEN MATCHES

Rabbitohs 7, Dragons 3

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Rabbitohs by 10 points.

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