Eels v Rabbitohs

Pirtek Stadium

Friday, 7.40pm

It may be fourth versus eleventh this Friday night when the Rabbitohs come up against the Eels at Parramatta, but a measly two points is all that separates the two Club’s as we delve deeper into the back-end of the competition.

The Rabbitohs stayed in touch with the top-four over the last month, with two byes and two losses making up the Club’s rap-sheet. A round 17 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at home wasn’t the way Head Coach Michael Maguire would have wanted to go into the round 18 bye, but finds himself in just that situation.

But if there were any positives to take out of the Rabbitohs’ last few rounds, it was the successful return of Luke Keary, who started the game against the Titans while John Sutton reverted to the back-row.

Maguire has this week named Keary to start from the bench in jumper number 14, but said that far from being unimpressed with the returning half, was instead looking to re-build him back into a side that is now accustomed to the services of Captain Sutton at pivot. Between Adam Reynolds, John Sutton and Luke Keary, Maguire has plenty of options moving forward.

“It’s about each week finding the best dynamics of those boys being in the team,” said Maguire.

“They all bring something different to the team and great strengths in various areas and it’s just getting that best mix as we move forward.

“To have Luke Keary – whether he’s coming off the bench or starting – we’ve got a great player there along with Adam as well.”

To see Madge’s full interview, please click here.

The Eels come into the match having gone down to the Warriors by an unflattering 48-0 score-line. But with Origin star Jarryd Hayne back in the side this week, the Rabbitohs are expecting a rejuvenated Parramatta at Pirtek Stadium.

Rabbitohs winger, Lote Tuqiri, was in no doubt this week about the quality that he and his teammates will be up against though, with the dual-international citing Hayne as the Eels’ danger-man.

“He’s a class act and he has been for a while now,” said Tuqiri.

“Jarryd Hayne’s a freak. Obviously he’ll be their go-to, but in saying that, they’ve got a lot of guys stepping up – a lot of young forwards there who’ve played very well this year. Semi Radradra out on the wing as well, so they’re not just a one-man-team, but he (Hayne) certainly helps.”

To see Lote’s full interview, please click here.

 

Last Time They Met

The Rabbitohs braved atrocious weather in round 15 to beat the Parramatta Eels 30-10 in an away match at ANZ Stadium for their 12th win of the season.

Despite missing Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen, Ben Te’o, Nathan Merritt and George Burgess, the Rabbitohs put on a controlled wet-weather performance to down the last placed Eels convincingly.

The Eels opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Ken Sio touched down in the corner. Sandow’s attempted conversion hit the upright, leaving the Eels early leader by 4-0.

The Rabbitohs went right back on the attack though, with Dylan Walker pouncing on an Adam Reynolds grubber kick in the in-goal in the 17th minute. Reynolds converted to lead 6-4.

Reynolds was denied a try of his own in the 25th minute after the Rabbitohs halfback sliced through the Parramatta defence from close range, only for the video referee to disallow the try thanks to an obstruction.

A strip on debutant Thomas Burgess close to the line gave the Rabbits a chance to post more points, and the men in red and green delivered, a well weighted kick into the in-goal from Justin Hunt giving Dylan Farrell a four-pointer. Reynolds converted from out wide to stretch the Rabbitohs lead to 12-4 going into the break.

The Rabbitohs came out of the blocks firing in the second half, with the boot of Reynolds again proving the vital cog in the red and green backline – Justin Hunt pouncing on another Reynolds grubber to extend the lead to 18-4.

With Souths looking to score just minutes later the Eels turned defence into attack when a wayward pass on the ten metre line allowed Ken Sio to pick up the ball and sprint 90 metres to touch down in the corner for his second. Sandow converted to bring the blue and gold’s within eight points.

Souths got another good opportunity close to the line after Eels fullback Jake Mullaney spilt a John Sutton bomb. It was Adam Reynolds who capitalised, shrugging off Reni Maitua and Joseph Paulo to touch down just next to the posts. Reynolds converted his own try to extend the score to 24-10 in the Rabbitohs’ favour.

The Rabbitohs capitalised on the momentum with Issac Luke running out of dummy half close to the line before passing on to John Sutton who slammed the ball down over the stripe to extend the red and green lead. Reynolds continued his good day with the boot, making it five from five to finish the game 20 minutes before full-time.

To watch all the highlights, please click here.

 

Matchups

Eels v Rabbitohs

Pirtek Stadium

Friday, 5.20pm

The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC side will take on the Parramatta Eels this Friday night at Pirtek Stadium, with kick-off slated for 5.20pm.

The Rabbitohs come into the round 19 clash against the third-placed Eels on the back of a loss to the Gold Coast Titans in their last outing before the bye.

Ben Gardiner’s NYC squad went down to the Gold Coast Titans by 36-16 in round 17 of the Holden Cup competition.

Three tries to the home-side weren’t enough on a night dominated by the Titans, who looked well in control from the opening whistle, despite some spirited patches from the men in red and green.

Despite being on an equal 20 competition points with the New Zealand Warriors, Souths currently sit in tenth position on the Holden Cup ladder – six points behind the Eels and eight points behind the ladder-leading Newcastle Knights.