Rep Weekend 2013 Previews - Eight Rabbitohs in Action!

Eight Rabbitohs players will be in action throughout the representative weekend, with players involved in all four matches, headlined by the clash between Greg Inglis' Australian Kangaroos and Issac Luke's New Zealand Kiwis.


As you can see from the photo above of Greg and Issac with the Chief of the Defence Force and Rabbitohs Member General David Hurley at the Trans Tasman Charity Dinner in Canberra on Wednesday night, they are good friends and team mates for most of the year.


But on Friday night, they will be aiming to get one over each other as they play their best help their nation strike the first international blow of the season.


Despite having no Rabbitohs to watch in NRL competition, Members and supporters can have great interest in all four games with four players representing their countries, one representing their state and three representing their region.



Australian Kangaroos vs New Zealand Kiwis


The first international fixture of the weekend will see neighbours Australia take on New Zealand at Canberra Stadium on Friday night at 7:45pm.


Despite the pundits tipping this game to be a landslide victory to the Aussies, the Kiwis won't take a backward step and it will be a great battle of the forward packs.


It will be an aggressive confrontation up front, with the likes of Greg Bird, Sam Thaiday and Paul Gallen wanting to meet head-on the likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor.


But the key match up in the forwards will be Issac Luke and Cameron Smith. Both play different styles of games but both will be equally important in getting their packs on the front front foot through their work from dummy half.

Issac Luke

Cameron Smith

New Zealand

Rep Team

Australia

22

Test Matches

30

3

Test Tries

8

18

Test Goals

23

48

Test Points

78

2008

Test Debut

2006

Rabbitohs

Club

Storm

130

Career NRL Games

244

29

Career NRL Tries

33

110

Career NRL Goals

621

336

Career NRL Points

1374

2007

NRL Debut

2002

2013

6

Games

6

0

Goals

21

0

Points

42

61

Runs

44

63.2

Average Minutes per Game

77.5

449

Run Metres

333

0

Line Breaks

2

6

Offloads

6

158

Tackles

252

13

Missed Tackles

7

5

Errors

1




If the Australians can get on top in the forwards, it could open the floodgates for the backs in the second half, and no man will be more dangerous than our own Greg Inglis.


'GI' will be up against New Zealander Shaun Kenny-Dowall, and we all saw what Greg achieved against the Roosters running down Jenny-Dowall's right side in defence.


Inglis has scored more tries for their country than anyone else on the field on Friday night, and he could add a couple more to that tally this weekend.

Greg Inglis

Shaun Kenny-Dowall

Australia

Rep Team

New Zealand

22

Test Matches

8

19

Test Tries

6

76

Test Points

24

2006

Test Debut

2007

Rabbitohs

Club

Roosters

163

Career NRL Games

128

101

Career NRL Tries

76

9

Career NRL Goals

3

4

Career NRL Field Goals

0

426

Career NRL Points

310

2005

NRL Debut

2007

2013

6

Games

6

3

Tries

1

12

Points

4

73

Runs

65

80

Average Minutes per Game

80

1081

Run Metres

528

5

Line Breaks

3

1

Offloads

4

31

Tackles

100

8

Missed Tackles

17

4

Errors

7





Toa Samoa vs Mate Ma'a Tonga


The other international battle to take place this weekend will be the Samoa vs Tonga Test match to be played at Centrebet Stadium on Saturday at 7:30pm.


Both of these pacific nations have very passionate supporter bases and will through everything into winning this important game, as was evidenced by World Cup clash in 2008, played at the same ground.


Despite the teams looking vastly different to that occasion almost five years ago, they will play with the same passion and heart.


The interest for Rabbitohs Members and supporters will be up front, with South Sydney's Roy Asotasi and Jeff Lima donning the blue jersey of Samoa, up against Tonga's Brent Kite and Sam Moa.


Asotasi will captain Samoa, as he did New Zealand and South Sydney, with great passion and resolve. He wrote on his Twitter this week: "So honored 2 be named in the #samoa test team! Looking forward 2 representing my mum, dad & grandma this weekend!"


Both Asotasi and Lima will pushing their claims for a World Cup spot at the end of the year for the mighty Samoans.

Roy Asotasi (c)

Brent Kite (c)

Toa Samoa

Rep Team

Mate Ma'a Tonga

24 (NZ)

Test Matches

14 (Aus, Tonga)

2004

Test Debut

2000

Rabbitohs

Club

Sea Eagles

197

Career NRL Games

267

19

Career NRL Tries

21

76

Career NRL Points

84

2002

NRL Debut

2002

2013

5

Games

6

35

Runs

73

37

Average Minutes per Game

49

332

Run Metres

577

0

Line Breaks

1

0

Offloads

4

100

Tackles

160

5

Missed Tackles

6

0

Errors

2




Jeff Lima

Sam Moa

Toa Samoa

Rep Team

Mate Ma'a Tonga

7 (NZ, Samoa)

Test Matches

4

2006

Test Debut

2008

Rabbitohs

Club

Roosters

104

Career NRL Games

7

9

Career NRL Tries

0

1

Career NRL Goals

0

38

Career NRL Points

0

2004

NRL Debut

2008

2013

6

Games

6

83

Runs

73

41.2

Average Minutes per Game

50

684

Run Metres

628

1

Offloads

1

102

Tackles

168

4

Missed Tackles

7

4

Errors

4





City Origin vs Country Origin


The much-maligned City Origin vs Country Origin match will played in familiar surroundings for the three Rabbitohs representatives in this game, being the BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour. The game is scheduled to kick off at 3pm on Sunday.


The Rabbitohs have three home-grown representatives in this game, all playing for City.


Nathan Merritt has earned his second City jersey in 2013, and will line up against former Australian international winger Akuila Uate.


Both players are try scoring machines, but Rabbitohs Members will argue that Merritt has a finely tuned V8 engine under the hood which is leading him towards the all-time record for tries for South Sydney by a player.


Merritt has been in top form so far in 2013, scoring eight tries in six appearances, and this is a chance to prove to all of the doubters that he is worthy of highers honours, that being a sky blue NSW jersey.

Nathan Merritt

Akuila Uate

City Origin

Rep Team

Country Origin

Rabbitohs

Club

Knights

206

Career NRL Games

96

145

Career NRL Tries

77

39

Career NRL Goals

0

1

Career NRL Field Goals

0

659

Career NRL Points

308

2002

NRL Debut

2008

2013

6

Games

6

8

Tries

7

32

Points

28

54

Runs

86

80

Average Minutes per Game

80

589

Run Metres

817

5

Offloads

5

10

Tackles

8

7

Missed Tackles

5

5

Errors

7




The next cab off the rank for South Sydney is halfback Adam Reynolds, who all-and-sundry are calling for to get a shot at a NSW jersey in 2013.


Reynolds will earn his first representative jersey in this match, outside of the NRL All Stars cap he won earlier this year.


Reynolds will come up against Josh McCrone who will wear the second Country jersey of his career, having played in the 2012 fixture.


Reynolds' kicking game is very strong and will provide plenty of pressure of which his City team mates can take advantage.


Don't be surprised to see the play head to Merritt's wing more than it heads the other way. Familiarity will lead Reynolds to give try scoring opportunities to his South Sydney brother, and wouldn't we all like to see that on Sunday afternoon!

Adam Reynolds

Josh McCrone

City Origin

Rep Team

Country Origin

Rabbitohs

Club

Raiders

33

Career NRL Games

87

3

Career NRL Tries

26

117

Career NRL Goals

0

3

Career NRL Field Goals

1

249

Career NRL Points

105

2012

NRL Debut

2009

2013

6

Games

6

0

Tries

1

21

Goals

0

1

Field Goals

0

43

Points

4

21

Runs

40

80

Average Minutes per Game

80

139

Run Metres

321

0

Line Breaks

1

2

Offloads

5

123

Tackles

98

16

Missed Tackles

11

5

Errors

4




Finally, Rabbitohs hooker Nathan Peats was called into the City team on Monday to replace the injured Robbie Farah, and Peats will be doing everything he can prove that he deserves a shot at this level.


Despite not getting a lot of game time for the Rabbitohs in recent weeks, and having actually played for North Sydney in the NSW Cup last weekend, City Coach Brad Fittler had no hesitation in bringing the Indigenous All Star into the team to replace the captain.


Peats is strong from dummy half and will be going head-to-head with Country captain Michael Ennis.


These two have come face-to-face a number of times in recent seasons and the judges are still checking the score cards.


It will be a great tussle and one all Rabbitohs' Members and supporters will be looking forward to.

Nathan Peats

Michael Ennis

City Origin

Rep Team

Country Origin

Rabbitohs

Club

Bulldogs

43

Career NRL Games

176

6

Career NRL Tries

24

0

Career NRL Goals

108

24

Career NRL Points

312

2011

NRL Debut

2003

2013

5

Games

6

0

Tries

1

0

Points

4

15

Runs

20

22.2

Average Minutes per Game

72.5

115

Run Metres

114

1

Line Breaks

1

0

Offloads

1

72

Tackles

212

1

Missed Tackles

20

0

Errors

1





NSW Under 20s vs QLD Under 20s


The final representative match of the weekend is the State of Origin clash between the NSW Under 20s and the QLD Under 20s, to played as a curtain raiser to the Samoa vs Tonga Test at Centrebet Stadium on Saturday, scheduled to kick off at 5:35pm.


Rabbitohs Holden Cup player Dylan Walker has been selected in the centres for NSW, a position in which he has played this season for the Rabbitohs under 20s outfit, as well as the North Sydney Bears in the NSW Cup. We also can't forget his first touch in the 2013 Charity Shield, which saw him score a try at right centre against the Dragons.


Walker is a fantastic positional player, is fantastic with the ball in the hand and had a quality kicking game.


The former Australian Schoolboys representative will be a real handful for the Queenslanders, especially his giant opposite Brenko Lee. Lee is equal second on the Holden Cup try scorers list with seven tries so far in 2013, but Walker is one of the top point scorers in the Holden Cup competition, despite having played only four of the available six games played this season.


This will be a great clash and one which could give fans an insight into future State of Origin players for both NSW and QLD.

Dylan Walker

Brenko Lee

NSW Under 20s

Rep Team

QLD Under 20s

Rabbitohs

Club

Raiders

15

Career Under 20s Games

6

9

Career Under 20s Tries

10

20

Career Under 20s Goals

0

76

Career Under 20s Points

40

2012

Under 20s Debut

2013