PREVIEW: Rd 9, 2015
Rabbitohs v Dragons
It’s one of the oldest and most traditional battles in Australian Rugby League, and now, the next chapter in that history is about to played out on Monday night at ANZ Stadium between the Rabbitohs and the Dragons.
Both teams come into the Round 9 clash boasting vastly differing records - the Dragons going in search of their seventh straight victory.
Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, picked a slightly different looking line-up to the one that has taken the field in recent weeks, in large part thanks to the selection of John Sutton – the Souths Junior sitting on the sidelines with a broken jaw since Round two. Sutton has been named at five-eighth with Luke Keary set to again play half.
But Maguire’s line-up is anything but a sure thing this week, with the mentor admitting on Saturday that injured halfback, Adam Reynolds, is edging ever-closer to a return to the field after a knee injury sustained in Round 5 against the Bulldogs. Should Reynolds be named before kick-off, a re-shuffle will ensue that could see Keary shifted back to five-eighth while Sutton resumes his regular position in the back-row.
The Rabbitohs face a stiff test this week against the high-flying Dragons. Maguire this week admitted that the Saints have been setting the benchmark in a number of areas so far this season – a fact that only reinforces the mentor’s desire to get the best out of his team this Monday night at ANZ Stadium.
“St George have been leading the competition in a number of areas,” said Maguire.
“Defensively, they’re showing great strength there and they’re one of the best, so for us, we have to be spot on with our attack and make sure we build the pressure that every team is doing at the moment.”
Rabbitohs playmaker, Luke Keary, mirrored the thoughts of Maguire during the week.
“They’re working hard in games and they’re getting the rewards,” said Keary of Paul McGregor’s men.
“Obviously they’re the best defensive team in the comp and that’s what everyone’s trying to aim for.
“We’ll go through a few things in video and see if we can find any little chinks in their armour.”
“We played them in the Charity Shield there and I thought they were really good.
“They’re relatively new – they’ve got new combinations, obviously they’ve got Benji and Gareth. This is their second year now.
“I thought they (the Dragons) were going to have a good year. They’ve got real good young forwards who have stepped up.”
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons in Monday Night Football. Purchase your tickets now by clicking here.