NRL and NYC Previews - Rabbitohs vs Panthers - Round Three, 2013

Rabbitohs vs Panthers

Sunday 24 March, 3pm kickoff Centrebet Stadium

Official Twitter hashtags - #NRLPenSou #gorabbitohs


There's one change to the Rabbitohs' line up for this week with Sam Burgess returning from suspension to face the Panthers, and Dave Tyrrell drops back to the seven-man bench.


The Panthers will be without playmaker Lachlan Coote through injury and young half Tom Humble steps into his spot.


See the Rabbitohs line-up here.


The Rabbitohs currently sit in third spot and are one of only three undefeated sides but the performances of the two games couldnt be more different.


In round one a determined Rabbitohs outfit blew the much touted Roosters away but struggled to put away the under-siege Sharks in round two.


Ill-discipline, handling and poor fifth tackle options plagued the side but to their credit, they managed to tough out the win.


The Panthers scored a 32-10 victory over the struggling Raiders in round one but met a determined Tigers in round two, going down 28-18.


The Panthers were lucky to keep the Tigers to 28 points, conceding nine line breaks and missing a mammoth 38 tackles.



Recent History


In the last ten meetings the sides are evenly matched with five wins apiece. Amazingly, the Panthers have scored just two more points over those ten games, 248-246.


Currently the Rabbitohs are on a two match streak having beaten Penrith 40-24 in round three last year and 38-12 at ANZ Stadium in round 17.


In that clash Nathan Peats and Nathan Merritt scored two tries each as the Rabbitohs put on 24 unanswered points in the second half.


Merritt, filling in at fullback for Greg Inglis, made three line breaks and ten tackle breaks to add to his double.


John Sutton led the side in runs with 24 for 158 metres while Michael Crocker added 36 tackles.


Kevin Kingston led the way for the Panthers making an enormous 60 tackles while Souths Junior Josh Mansour busted six tackles and ran 151 metres.


See the highlights from that clash here.



Keys to victory


The Rabbitohs will need to improve significantly on last week.


Its rare that you can get away with a victory after 11 penalties and 14 errors.


The sides defence was unusually lacklustre as well in conceding 37 missed tackles.


Its hard to remember a team being caught with the ball as much on the fifth tackle and Head Coach Michael Maguire must have been tearing the remainder of his hair out for much of the game.


Despite those negatives, the side came away with the win and to triumph despite the performance was a (dare we say it) Storm-like effort.


The Storm have a brilliant knack of staying in touch with other sides even if theyre being outplayed and it appears this is a trait Maguire is keen to instil in his troops.


The Panthers will need a much improved defensive effort against a side they have conceded 78 points to in their last two encounters.


The Panthers big forwards will really need to stand up.


In the last two meetings they have conceded far too many metres and Issac Luke and the Rabbitohs backs have taken full advantage.



Key matchups


Sam Burgess vs Tim Grant


Burgess and Grant are the best hit-up merchants in their respective forward packs.


Burgess comes back into the side after a weeks suspension and will play his 50th NRL game.


Tim Grant will need to make plenty of metres to give his side the go-forward they need.


When the two come together its sure to be incredibly entertaining.

Sam Burgess

Tim Grant

196cm

Height

194cm

114kg

Weight

112kg

49

Career NRL Games

92

1

Games in 2013

2

25

Tackles per game

26

1

Missed tackles per game

1.5

17

Attacking runs per game

13

154

Attacking run metres per game

108.5




Nathan Peats vs James Segeyaro


Its not often that bench players are identified as a key matchup but this will be an interesting battle.


The Souths SG Ball teammates play important roles in their side.


Peats has been subbed on playing plenty of back row but also a dummy half role when Issac Luke is off the field.


Segeyaro has a similar role with Kevin Kingston but was forced into playing 70 minutes last week with Coote picking up a season ending injury.


Segeyaro is electrifying from dummy half while Peats is a superb defender and will soak up plenty of attack.

Nathan Peats

James Segeyaro

181cm

Height

169cm

90kg

Weight

84kg

40

Career NRL Games

35

2

Games in 2013

2

30

Minutes per game

63

21

Tackles per game

29.5

0.5

Missed tackles per game

0.5

6.5

Runs per game

10.5

50.4

Run metres per game

96

1

Line breaks

1

0

Offloads

6

0

Errors

2






Holden Cup Preview


Rabbitohs vs Panthers

Sunday March 24, 12:45pm kickoff Centrebet Stadium

Official Twitter hashtags - #NYCPenSou #gorabbitohs


The Rabbitohs will be hoping to cause an upset over the top of the table Panthers and climb inside the top four.


After racing to a 12-0 lead inside five minutes against the Sharks, Souths were forced to tough out a round two win after they let the lead slip.


Trailing 14-12 at the break they scored four second half tries to one to defeat the Sharks 32-18.


The Rabbitohs backs caused plenty of headaches for Cronulla combining for five line breaks but theyll have a huge test against Penrith.


Theyve got very good outside backs, said Coach Grant Jones.


Theyre very strong and their attack comes off that.


They dont play with a lot of structure, they play whats in front of them.


They play with a lot of skill. They run the ball and back their skill.


Defensively were going to have to be very, very good but at the same time back our skill as well.


Penrith have had two very strong wins over last years Grand Finalists in the Tigers and Raiders and will be one of the top sides this season.


There are plenty of danger men in their back line including fullback Kieran Moss who scored a hat trick last week but they boast some very creative halves and elusive wingers.


The key to the Rabbitohs will once again be Dylan Walker.


The Australian Schoolboys representative has been fantastic in his two games this year and hell have plenty of attacking responsibility.


Is an upset on the cards? Well have to wait and see.