2024 NRL: Magic Round Preview, Rabbitohs Vs Cowboys

Check out the match preview and prediction for the Magic Round clash between the Rabbitohs and Cowboys.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs North Queensland Cowboys
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Date: Saturday 18 May, 7:45pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Rabbitohs:  1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Jack Wighton 4. Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson 5. Jacob Gagai 6. Cody Walker 7. Dion Teaupa 8. Davvy Moale 9. Damien Cook 10. Sean Keppie 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Siliva Havili 14. Peter Mamouzelos 15. Tallis Duncan 16. Thomas Burgess 17. Taane Milne 18. Gehamat Shibasaki 19. Matthew French 20. Adam Christensen 21. Bayleigh Bentley-Hape 22. Liam Le Blanc

Cowboys:1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Viliami Vailea 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Griffin Neame 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Sam McIntyre 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 17. Jason Taumalolo 18. Jake Granville 19. Jake Clifford 20. Harrison Edwards 21. Braidon Burns 22. Jaxon Purdue

Referee:  Peter Gough

Bunker: Matt Noyen

Embed from Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

Hoping to shock the crowd and take home a win, the seventeenth place South Sydney Rabbitohs travel to Queensland for Magic Round to take on the twelfth placed North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

When the Rabbitohs faced the eleventh placed Dragons last weekend, they were in for a fight. They demonstrated defensive strength, but plagued by errors from the start, as they struggled to score. With the Dragons taking the win 28-14.

Even with their star player Latrell Mitchell back from suspension and scored two tries, however could not save the Rabbitohs. Their completion rate sitting at only 65% with 14 mistakes.

In a confidence crusher for the Rabbitohs, they have won just five of their past 22 matches dating back to round 12 last year but will take comfort in the fact that they have won all four Magic Round games.

Mitchell is fresh off his first game back from suspension and will be full of strength and confidence in his ability to hold off a determined Cowboys side after his performance last weekend.

Alex Johnston and Jacob Gagai should feel refreshed returning from a hamstring injury and ready to make an impression, providing the power on the outside edge for the Rabbitohs with assistance from Damien Cook and Jack Wighton in the forward pack.

Wighton will also be looking to leave an impression in his 250th NRL appearance.

Captain Cody Walker will be the guidance and confidence for the team. Supporting both his backline and the team to assist in getting the job done.

The Cowboys have won three of their last four games at Suncorp Stadium and will be looking to win again this weekend, but they will need to avoid the mistakes that have plagued them previously, as have the Rabbitohs.

A full-strength line up from the Cowboys could pose a problem for the struggling Rabbitohs as they provide a solid line both defensively and in attack.

With the combination of players – Chad Townsend at halfback, Valentine Holmes in the centre, Scott Drinkwater as fullback, Kyle Feldt as well as the return of Murray Taulagi on the wing and a forward pack featuring Jeremiah Nanai to break through defence and quick-thinking Rueben Cotter.

Griffin Neame in their forward pack who is powerful through the centre is another player that is not to be underestimated. Presenting impressive stats of 415 post contact metres, 244 tackles made with a 92.8% efficiency and an average of 102 running metres.

An impressive performance against the Titans last weekend, the Cowboys appear to have found their flow as a team late in the game, coming back from a 0-20 point lead by the Titans at halftime to take the score to 4-20 in the 60th minute with a try from Nanai, but it was a little late for them when they began to put points on the board in the second half, going down to the Titans 20-18.

Coach Todd Payten is confident that the team will need to “work hard, put their heads down, and stay tight as a group” to break their losing streak.

While the Cowboys will be determined to show their fans that they can finally finish the job, the Rabbitohs at the bottom of the ladder face their day of reckoning in what could be a challenging match.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Magic Round Number Crunch.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Check out all the NRL Predictions for Magic Round here.

Cowboys by 14 points.

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