NRL & NYC Previews - Rd 20, 2014
Raiders v Rabbitohs
Monday 28 July 2014
GIO Stadium, Canberra
7:00pm – NRL Kick Off
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be looking to notch up their second consecutive win on Monday night, when they take on the Canberra Raiders in the nation’s capital.
For the Raiders, the match is a must win match if they are to lift themselves from near the bottom of the competition ladder. Currently sitting in 15th spot on 14 competition points, the Raiders have conceded more points in 2014 than any other team, and after winning just one of their last five matches, the pressure is on.
The Rabbitohs by comparison have won three of their last five matches, but after going through a month without a win – a period that included two byes – the side’s win over the Eels at Parramatta in round 19 was a welcome morale booster.
If they saying ‘you’re only as good as your last game’ rings true, then Souths have plenty to be happy about. Having improved their at times troublesome completion rate against the Eels (completing 32 out of 36 sets), Rabbitohs such as George Burgess are using the stat as a starting point for where the team want to be.
“It’s just little thing like that that can win you games,” said George.
“Those are the things we weren’t doing, so we had to pick up on those and the points started coming for us.”
To watch the full interview with George, please click here.
Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, named a similar looking side to the one that defeated the Eels at Parramatta in round 19, with Bryson Goodwin coming in onto the wing for Lote Tuqiri, while the red and green’s also welcome back Queensland Origin back-rower, Ben Te’o.
The Rabbitohs extended their top of the table lead to five points with a convincing 32-2 win over the Canberra Raiders in round 16 of the 2013 season – the last time they defeated the Raiders.
The Rabbitohs took the field wearing the now famous ‘Man of Steel’ Rabbitohs Jersey, and lived up to the symbols reputation by showing great steel in both attack and defence in poor weather conditions.
Canberra took no chances with the first placed Rabbits early with a penalty for offside within kicking distance enough to get the Raiders on the board in the 5th minute. Centre Jarrod Croker slotted the two-pointer to give the visitors an early 2-0 lead.
But the Raiders would not score again, with some fancy footwork from Adam Reynolds close to the line setting up a converted try for Sam Burgess under the posts, giving the Rabbitohs the lead for the first time in the match.
From the ensuing set, Nathan Merritt broke clear through the Raiders’ line, but was caught just short by Raiders fullback and Souths Junior Reece Robinson. A penalty to Souths one tackle later gave Justin Hunt an opportunity to slide in to the corner to extend Souths’ lead to 10-2 – Reynolds having missed the conversion from the touch-line.
Issac Luke broke the points drought ten minutes before the break with a sneaky try from dummy-half close to the line catching the Raiders’ defence napping. Reynolds converted from close range to extend the lead to 16-2 leading into half time.
From Origin opponents on the Wednesday to teammates for the Rabbits on the weekend, Nathan Merritt and Greg Inglis combined in the 60th minute, with Inglis putting a perfect pass on to Merritt’s chest to send the flying finisher over in the corner. Reynolds converted for the Bunnies to lead 22-2.
But the men in red and green weren’t done yet, with Bryson Goodwin touching down in the corner after taking a quick pass from dummy half down the blind side. Reynolds again added the extras to give Souths a 26-6 lead with just under 15 minutes to go.
The Rabbitohs were still not content though, with replacement winger Justin Hunt showing great vision to chip in to the in goal from 40 metres out for the flying Dylan Walker to touch down. Bryson Goodwin converted for the Bunnies to finish the match at 32-2.
NYC Raiders v Rabbitohs
Monday 28 July 2014
GIO Stadium, Canberra
4:45pm- Holden Cup Kick Off
The South Sydney Rabbitohs’ NYC side will take on the Canberra Raiders in round 20 of the Holden Cup Competition at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Monday night.
The Rabbitohs and Raiders come into the match in 11th and 12th place respectively with four points the difference between the sides. For both outfits, Monday night’s match is a must win.
Canberra have conceded the most amount of points out of any in the Holden Cup, with 628 points, while Souths have had 448 scored. But the story is inverted when it comes to points scored.
Souths have managed to score 398 points this season, while the Raiders have accrued 447. Expect the Rabbitohs’ new-look halves pairing of Brad Wall and Devon Makoare-Boyce to create plenty of opportunities when it comes to scoring points.
When it comes to creating opportunities, Makoare-Boyce is one to watch. The young half’s step is as vicious as it is effective.