Match Preview - Coffs Harbour Trial - Rabbitohs vs Knights

Rabbitohs vs Knights

7pm kickoff BCU International Stadium

Official hashtag - #NRLSouNew #gorabbitohs

Tickets available by clicking here.

There is no live TV or radio coverage of this game. For live scores, follow the Rabbitohs on Twitter by clicking here.

The Rabbitohs will hold an open training session at 5pm on Friday 15 February at BCU International Stadium. Details here.



Rabbitohs Head Coach Michael Maguire has named a very strong side to take on the Knights while the makeup of Wayne Bennetts side is unclear although his 30-man squad is very solid.


The Knights side contains new recruits Mitchell Frei, Beau Scott and former Rabbitoh David Faalogo. Kurt Gidley will also make his return to football after recovering from a shoulder injury which ruled him out of the majority of 2012.


Greg Inglis, Adam Reynolds, Sam Burgess, Michael Crocker (c) and Issac Luke are just some of the big names who will take up starting spots for the Rabbitohs. Although, with Maguire naming an 11-man bench, there is sure to be plenty of rotation. See the full line-up here.


Last time the sides met the Rabbitohs spoilt the Knights Old Boys day with a gritty 18-6 win (watch the highlights here). Greg Inglis, Issac Luke, Sam Burgess and John Sutton were the standouts for the Rabbitohs. Inglis, in particular, was brilliant. His try-saving tackle on Knights winger Aku Uate had to be seen to be believed and he backed it up with a try to seal the win.


Uate was the chief destroyer for the Knights and if chosen in the final side for this weekend will again cause plenty of headaches. The Knights lacked a bit of firepower up front last year and the inclusions of David Faalogo and Beau Scott will add plenty in 2013. Promising young forward Mitchell Frei will also push for a spot in what is a very solid Knights forward pack. The return of Kurt Gidley is also crucial, with Bennett confirming he will start the year in the number seven jumper.


Michael Maguire faces plenty of selection headaches this season with excellent depth across the park. The centre positions especially will be an interesting prospect with Bryson Goodwin, Chris McQueen, Matt King, Dylan Farrell, Shaune Corrigan, Mitchell Buckett and the returning Beau Champion all in the running.


Keys to Victory


A victory wont be as important to either coach as identifying the right combinations for their new look sides. With extended benches there are sure to be plenty of rotations and expect new players to get quite a bit of game time as they push for spots.


As mentioned previously the Knights struggled somewhat up forward last year but that should all change with a few big inclusions.


The Rabbitohs were subject to a few lapses last year in defence where for periods of 5-10 minutes they would let other teams back into the game. To really push for a 21st premiership, that needs to be eradicated, starting with the trial in Coffs Harbour.


Key Matchups


Adam Reynolds vs Kurt Gidley


Many speculate whether Adam Reynolds will be subject to the dreaded second year syndrome but its hard to see it happening to such a level-headed, mature player. Kurt Gidley will be absolutely vital to the Knights season upon his return from injury.

Adam Reynolds

2013

Kurt Gidley

173cm

Height

182cm

85kg

Weight

90kg

27

Career NRL Games

192

208

Career NRL Points

1008

27

2012 NRL Games

5




Sam Burgess vs David Faalogo


Two devastating hit-men will line up against each other with the former George Piggins medal winner Faalogo returning to the NRL from Huddersfield in the UK. Sam Burgess has recovered from off-season knee surgery and will line up for his first hit-out of 2013.


Sam Burgess

2013

David Fa'alogo

196cm

Height

185cm

116kg

Weight

105kg

48

Career NRL Games

142