NRL and NYC Previews - Rabbitohs vs Broncos - Round Eight, 2013

Rabbitohs (2nd) vs Broncos (6th)

Friday 3 May, 7:35pm kickoff Suncorp Stadium

Official Twitter hashtags - #NRLBriSou #gorabbitohs


The second-placed Rabbitohs take on a resurgent Broncos side who have now won three straight after an indifferent start to 2013.


Brisbanes confidence will be high after a strong away win against the Tigers last week while the Rabbitohs achieved something few teams have been able to do in recent times in defeating the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.


The Broncos are faced with an even more difficult task with Justin Hodges and Josh McGuire ruled out. Youngster Jordan Kahu and Jarrod Wallace are slated to come into the side.


For the Rabbitohs, Jeff Lima slots in as 18th man with his troublesome shoulder to be assessed later in the week.


Should the Rabbitohs win theyll most likely retain second place while a loss could see them slip as low as fifth.


A win for the Broncos could propel them as high as third while a loss could have them teetering on the edge of the top eight.


Recent History


Brisbane remains one of two teams Maguire is yet to defeat at the helm of the Rabbitohs (the other being the Storm) after Brisbane won both meetings last year.


Brisbane have in fact won the last three, the last Rabbitohs win back in Round 16, 2011.


Brisbane have won 22 of the 31 meetings between the sides dating back to 1988 and seven of the last ten since the beginning of 2006.


Over that time they have been fairly dominant, outscoring South Sydney 22.6 points per game to 18.4.


Last time the sides met the Broncos overcame an extremely determined Rabbitohs side to prevail 26-12 in Petero Civonicevas 300th NRL game.


The Broncos had 57% of the possession, forcing South Sydney into 422 tackles, a whopping 126 more.


Incredibly, despite the lopsided possession count, the Rabbitohs led 12-10 after 50 minutes courtesy of an 80 metre intercept try from Nathan Merritt.


Quick tries to Dale Copley and Corey Norman put the home side back in front before current Rabbitoh Ben Teo scored for the Broncos to blow the deficit out to 14 points.


No less than three Rabbitohs made more than 40 tackles with Issac Luke and Dave Taylor notching up 43 and Michael Crocker 40. Despite the lack of ball, Greg Inglis ran 99 metres and made six tackle breaks while Nathan Merritt chalked up 162 metres courtesy of his long range try.


For the Broncos, Corey Parker made an impressive 59 tackles and Josh McGuire 46, between them equating to 36% of their sides total.


Justin Hodges was the chief destroyer with ball in hand making 174 metres, seven tackle breaks and four offloads.


Keys to victory


For the Rabbitohs, an 80 minute performance still eludes them.


There was a brief lapse in concentration against Manly and while the side was happy with the effort, they are clearly not totally satisfied.


Michael Maguire has highlighted the fact that Brisbane love to spread the ball wide and its no surprise therefore that their back five have made a huge impact this season.


Corey Norman and Justin Hodges in particular have been in devastating form with the latter chalking up an almost unbelievable 25 tackle breaks in the last three games, including 15 against the Tigers.


The fact that he is missing this weekend is a big hurdle for Brisbane to overcome but they certainly have the wide ball-runners to fill the void.


Matt Gillett has taken his game to a new level in 2013 and looks to be the dangerman near the line.


He has scored four tries this season, second in the Broncos side to winger Josh Hoffman.


Alex Glenn has also improved markedly; he averages just less than 120 metres a game to rank second amongst the Broncos forwards.


With Jack Reed, Josh Hoffman and the much improved Lachlan Maranta also on the fringes the Broncos still have a dangerous feel out wide.


The Rabbitohs wide defenders will have to be on their toes and will be hoping to perform in a similar vein to last week.


Bryson Goodwin and Beau Champion were instrumental in the victory over the Sea Eagles with Goodwin in particular doing a fantastic shut-down job on one of the games most dangerous centres in Jamie Lyon.


He finished with six one-on-one tackles, the most by a Rabbitohs player in more than a year.


Souths boast one of the toughest packs in the comp and Brisbane will certainly have their work cut out for them if they hope to contain the powerful running of the Burgess boys, Ben Teo and the revitalized Roy Asotasi.


If theyre dominated up forward then their hopes of containing Issac Luke from dummy half, the powerful ball running and offloading of John Sutton and the clever play of Adam Reynolds take a severe hit.


Then theres the Inglis factor. How do you stop him? The short answer is that you cant, but you can limit his influence by getting on the front foot up forward and kicking in behind him.


If youre beaten up forward and subsequent pressure is put on your kickers youll end up giving him plenty of space to move and will no doubt be torn to ribbons.


Key Matchups


Greg Inglis vs Corey Norman


The fullback position is fast becoming one of the most important in modern day Rugby League and these two are certainly in form.


Inglis leads the competition in tackle breaks (45) and try saves (12) and is clearly one of the most dangerous fullbacks in the competition.


Norman took over fullback duties from Josh Hoffman and hasnt missed a beat in 2013, his slick hands providing a team-high five try assists.





Sam Burgess vs Corey Parker


The two forward workhorses of the team.


Burgess has been in outstanding form this season and not to be outdone, Parkers work rate is phenomenal.





Rabbitohs (14th) vs Broncos (6th)

Friday 3 May, 5:20pm kickoff Suncorp Stadium

Official Twitter hashtags - #NYCBriSou #gorabbitohs


The Rabbitohs will be buoyed by their second win of the season but face a stern test against the sixth-placed Broncos on Friday night.


South Sydney scored the lone try of the second half to defeat the Sea Eagles after Manly led 12-10 at the break.


Hooker Cameron McInnes was superb in making 43 tackles, two line breaks, five tackle breaks and scoring the crucial second half try.





Its a new look side for the Rabbitohs with several members of the SG Ball side progressing into the Under 20s squad.


17 year old centre Tulsa Saumamao, winger Alex Johnston and tough prop Cheyne Whitelaw all make the transition.


New face Jaiden Hawkes will slot into the starting side again at five-eighth after a terrific performance against Manly.


Brisbane have shown the ability to win the close ones with their last three victories coming by a combined 10-point margin.


They have plenty of dangermen, especially up forward with their 2012 NYC player of the year Francis Molo and hot prospect Caleb Timu sure to cause plenty of headaches.


Prop Stephen Coombe is another to watch.


He leads the Holden Cup in runs (114) and is fourth in tackles (258).


In front of a big crowd the Broncos will be fired up but the Rabbitohs will be confident and boosted by some fresh inclusions.


If youre in Brisbane, get down early to Suncorp Stadium for what is sure to be a great contest.