Tigers v Rabbitohs
It may be a Wests Tigers home-game, but Rabbitohs Head Coach Michael Maguire expects a great turn-out from the Rabbitohs faithful this Friday as his team prepares to run out onto their home-turf, ANZ Stadium, to take on the 13th placed Tigers.
With a joint agreement allowing Rabbitohs Ticketed Members access to Friday nights clash, a distinctly red and green feel could take hold as it did in Perth in Round 13
“It’s always great to get them (the Members) along, and the noise –they’re a big part of what we’re doing,” said Maguire earlier this week.
“There was a lot of noise over there in Perth as well with a lot of the great Burrow that travel across. So to have all our supporters out there, it’ll be great for us.”
Both sides will be without a number of key players through Origin duty and injury, with Rabbitohs skipper Greg Inglis in Queensland camp and Issac Luke rested with a medial twinge, while the Tigers will be without key forwards, Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods.
“We’re pretty focussed on ourselves,” said Maguire.
“Whatever they’re putting out there, we’ve got to make sure we’re on our game because there’s no easy game in the NRL – you’ve got to continually turn up week in and week out to reap the rewards.”
The absence of Inglis has opened a number of opportunities for Maguire’s men, particularly among the young brigade, with Alex Johnston set to slot in at fullback.
“He loves the fullback opportunities,” said Maguire.
“He’s performing very well there and it’s another chance for him to really excel in that area.”
But it will be 18 year old John Olive who is set to be the main beneficiary of Inglis’ Origin call-up this week, with the young-gun set to make his first grade debut for the Club after only recently representing for the Australian Schoolboys.
“To bring another young one in (John Olive) it’s always enjoyable as a coach. He’s come through the North (Sydney) Bears and has been able to fight his way into the starting team.
“To see Johnny out there, we’re looking forward to it – another young man getting an opportunity.”
Olive is the latest talent to be blooded at the Club this season, with the likes of Aaron Gray and Chris Grevsmuhl making their respective debuts, while Cameron McInnes and Nathan Brown – both of whom have previously played first grade – have also found increased game-time in the red and green.
The Rabbitohs will be looking to build on their successful Round 13 trip to Perth against the Warriors – a game that saw plenty of cohesion and structure in the back-line with the halves pairing of Luke Keary and John Sutton blossoming.
“We’ll get a lot out of that game,” said Maguire.
“The areas that we’ve been working on throughout the last month have definitely started coming out in our game, but the big one for us now is building consistency around that – we need to make sure we’re doing it again and again.
“It’s another opportunity on Friday for us to get out and look at the standards that we hold high and make sure we’re doing them.”
Baby Back Three
Don’t let the baby faces fool you – these three could prove dangerous. With Alex Johnston and Aaron Gray barely into their 20s and the on debut John Olive just 18 years of age, the Rabbitohs’ back three is a picture of youth and enthusiasm. With a combination of pace, vision and game-breaking ability in all three players, expect these three to develop a promising combination that could serve to yield points.
While Friday night’s clash is a Tigers home game, as part of a joint agreement, Rabbitohs Ticketed Members have access to Friday nights clash and have access to the following areas:
Reserved Diamond/Gold/Silver Members will access via Gate C/D with General Admission Seating available on Level 4 East.
General Admission/Burrow/3Game/Regional Members will access via Gate B with General Admission Seating available on Level 1 in Aisles 101 to 103. The Burrow will be located in the Rabbitohs Fans GA area.