Titans v Rabbitohs
Cbus Super Stadium
Gold Coast, kick-off, 3pm
After showing calm and composure to sink the Eels in Round 11 at home, the Rabbitohs travel up to Queensland to take on the Gold Coast Titans and build on the defensive effort of the previous week.
Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, has this week named an outfit that will include Greg Inglis, despite conjecture to the contrary, with Luke Keary and John Sutton again set to combine at five-eighth and half.
Speaking to the Rugby League media this week, the Rabbitohs mentor said he was pleased with the way his team has built on the positives in their game over the preceding weeks, but that defence will again be top of the agenda.
“We took a lot out of Parramatta along with the Melbourne game and a number of others,” said Maguire.
“But I think for us now it’s growing from what we’ve been doing the last sort of three weeks and one thing I’m pleased with is obviously the direction we’re heading with our defence – it’s something we need to step up again.”
The Titans boast a dangerous attacking outfit that will include the likes of speedsters such as William Zillman, James Roberst and Kevin Gordon in the outside backs, while Nate Myles, Ryan James and Dave Taylor take the team forward from the front.
“A drilled team that use the ball very well,” said Maguire of what he expects of the Titans.
“They’re an attacking team that if you clock off just slightly, they’re ready to take it. They’ve got a lot of speed out on their edges and they move that ball around.
“Once again, our defence needs to be on song and (we need) to be ready to make sure we’re doing all the little things right.”
Rabbitohs centre Dylan Walker – who scored four tries against the Titans during his sides last trip to the Gold Coast – mirrored his Coaches thoughts on the match.
“They’re a side with a lot of attacking potential,” said Walker.
“They’ve got James Roberts who is real fast and Aiden Sezer who’s a great playmaker and then you’ve got the new halfback, Kane Elgey.
“We’ll really have to be on our game defensively. I think the defence we’ve been showing since the Dragon’s game has been getting to our standards.
“Obviously there’s plenty of room for improvement, and that’s what we’ll be looking at doing this week.
“We can’t wait to get up there and put in a good performance – especially when you know there’s going to be so much support up there.”
They’ve come through the ranks together from their junior representative days, and now have the opportunity to show their close connection in first grade. Alex Johnston, Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray are Rabbitohs outside-backs who could make a vital impact on the match with their ability to get outside their opposite numbers and find the try-line. Johnston was the Rabbitohs’ top try-scorer last season, while in just four first grade games, Gray has scored five. Throw in Walker as well – who’s no stranger to finding the line – and the Rabbitohs’ backs could pose plenty of danger to the Titans’ defensive line.