Rabbitohs Video and Digital Media Co-ordinator Patrick Brady takes a look at the upcoming clash between the Rabbitohs at Bulldogs.


Rabbitohs vs Bulldogs

Good Friday March 19, 4pm kickoff ANZ Stadium

Official Twitter hashtags - #NRLCbySou #gorabbitohs


Its the Good Friday blockbuster and a huge crowd is expected at ANZ Stadium. The last time the teams met, the Preliminary Final last year, it was a drama filled night. 70,000 fans watched as the Rabbitohs led 8-6 before halfback Adam Reynolds limped off with a torn hamstring just before half time. From there the Bulldogs took control and skipped away to a 32-8 win. See the highlights from that encounter here.


The Rabbitohs have named the same starting line-up that took the field against the Panthers with Roy Asotasi and Justin Hunt on an extended bench. See the Rabbitohs line-up here.


The big news for the Bulldogs is that they welcome back Ben Barba. Much has been made of his return and it will be very interesting to see how he goes in his first game of the year. Also returning for the Bulldogs is Frank Pritchard who will add a big presence in both defence and attack.


The starts to the season have been very different for these teams. The Rabbitohs recovered from an early try to record a dominant victory in round one before surrendering handy early leads against the Sharks and Panthers, yet still held on for wins. Despite that the Rabbitohs sit in second place with a perfect three from three.


The Bulldogs are one win and two losses from the first three rounds. Against the Storm and Cowboys they managed to hang on to record tight losses despite trailing at halftime and scored a gritty win over the Eels in Round two.


Recent History


The Bulldogs have won seven of the last ten encounters and have outscored the Rabbitohs 247 points to 203 including the 32-8 Preliminary Final win last year.


In that match the main destroyers for the Bulldogs were Sam Perrett (two tries, two line-breaks and 181 metres) and Josh Morris (191 metres run, two line-breaks and three tackle breaks). Greg Eastwood was man of the match with a line break, a line beak assist, two try assists and a try. Michael Ennis made 44 tackles.


Issac Luke, Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess were the big performers for the Rabbitohs. Inglis ran 174 metres and made four tackle breaks while Issac Luke made the sides only line break and scored their only try. Sam Burgess toiled hard all day with 157 metres and 36 tackles.


Keys to victory


The Rabbitohs are yet to turn in an 80 minute performance this season and should they do that, theyll be very tough to defeat. After conceding just two tries per game in the opening two rounds they let in 32 points last week and nearly blew a big half time lead. Attitude in defence and seeing out a full 80 minutes will have been the main focus this week and its the key to victory for South Sydney.


The Bulldogs will reshuffle a little but Frank Pritchard and the reigning Dally M player of the year, Ben Barba, will only strengthen their side. They have shown the same fighting qualities that took them to a Grand Final last year and theyll need to draw on that to beat an attacking South Sydney side.


The Bulldogs havent been bad by any stretch of the imagination but despite having several toilers in the team they have lacked that bit of punch up forward. Pritchard coming into the side may provide exactly that.


Key Matchups


Greg Inglis vs Ben Barba


This matchup will be absolutely fascinating. How Ben Barba will perform in his first game back is anyones guess but at his peak hes one of the most elusive ball runners and best finishers in the game. Greg Inglis is in ominous touch. Already this season he has made five line breaks, 18 tackle breaks and is averaging 182 metres per game.

Greg Inglis

Ben Barba

195cm

Height

175cm

106kg

Weight

84kg

160

Career NRL Games

80

3

Games in 2013

0

2012 Stats

22

Games

27

312

Runs

309

3277

Run metres

3310

22

Line breaks

27

12

Tries

22




John Sutton vs Josh Reynolds


Sutton might be in the form of his career, and says he is looking forward to his matchup with Reynolds. See the interview here. Josh Reynolds, brilliant with ball in hand is vital to the Bulldogs' success.

John Sutton

Josh Reynolds

190cm

Height

180cm

105kg

Weight

90kg

185

Career NRL Games

40

3

Games in 2013

3

2013 Stats

61

Tackles

42

3

Missed tackles

9

37

Runs

20

316

Run metres

223

6

Offloads

2

1

Line breaks

1

1

Try assists

2

1

Tries

2


Holden Cup Preview


Rabbitohs vs Bulldogs

Good Friday March 19, 1:45pm kickoff ANZ Stadium

Official Twitter hashtags - #NYCCbySou #gorabbitohs


The Rabbitohs were soundly beaten by a very talented Panthers side last week and will be looking for a vast improvement against Canterbury-Bankstown.


The Bulldogs once again boast a strong Holden Cup squad this year after they took out the Minor Premiership in 2012. Five-Eighth Moses Mbye returns this season, and along with winger David Sila, will be one of the danger men. Back rower David Minute is another to watch with several stellar performances off the bench including a try-scoring-double last week.


The Rabbitohs will be without playmaker Dylan Walker who has been called into the North Sydney Bears line-up. Christian Hazard will make his NYC debut after some impressive trial form and how he performs will be important.