PREVIEW: Rd 21, 2015
Rabbitohs v Panthers
Sunday ANZ Stadium
Kick Off, 4pm
Rabbitohs skipper, Greg Inglis, will chalk up his 100th Rabbitohs game this Sunday afternoon when his side take on the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Round 21 of the NRL Premiership, in a match that will be significant for a number of reasons.
Inglis played his first game for the Rabbitohs in 2011 in Round 1 of that season against the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium and has since gone on to win a Premiership with the Club in 2014 among a host of other individual accolades.
“I think it’s special for all of us,” admitted Rabbitohs Head Coach Michal Maguire.
“To have a player like Greg in your team, and to lead us the way he is at the moment, along with John (Sutton), and to play 100 games for the Club is special in any club that you’re doing that at.
“I think Greg has another 200 at the way he is going at the moment. He’s really happy and he’s really leading the boys around, but it’s the way the boys are really gathering around him as well that’s a really big part of what’s moving forward.”
The match will also prove significant because of the long-awaited return of Rabbitohs Premiership-winning forward, Kyle Turner – the talented forward has sat the duration of the season thus far out with a neck injury sustained in this year’s All Stars game.
Turner’s return comes at an opportune moment for both himself and the Rabbitohs, after regular forward, Ben Lowe, sustained a biceps injury in last weekend’s demolition of the Newcastle Knights.
“Unfortunately for Benny (Lowe), he’s suffered a bit of a bicep injury, but he’ll be back soon,” said Maguire.
“To have Kyle Turner come back – everyone is really pleased. To see him go through what he had to, to get himself back out on the field. It’s a real credit to Kyle, and we’re looking forward to having him back.”
The Rabbitohs mentor has been pleased with his side’s level of improvement in recent weeks, having downed St George Illawarra and the Knights in consecutive solid performances. Maguire has been particularly pleased by the development of a number of combinations across the park.
“I think to see the combinations really start to come together – it wasn’t just the tries, it was the little things that the players are doing for each other around the ball in attack (that) is probably the most pleasing part,” said Maguire.
“Obviously defensively we need to be a bit better there at the start, but to the see the boys defend the way they have been growing, especially over this last little period, is something we want to take forward.”
The Rabbitohs last met the Panthers in Round 17, with the Penrith side coming away with the points by 20-6 at Pepper Stadium.
“I think it’s going to be more about us, and what we’re doing,” said Maguire of the upcoming Round 21 encounter.
“I think that’s something we’ve been really focused on over this last couple of weeks – the things that we can control and the way we play. So while we’re doing that, I think we’re a team going in the right direction.
“No doubt Penrith will come out and perform the way they did in the last game – they came at us very quickly and got a lot of offloads.
“We’re aware of how they play and we’ve got to make sure that we are nullifying that through our defence.”
Rabbitohs v Panthers
Sunday ANZ Stadium
Kick Off, 1.45pm
The Rabbitohs NYC side will face their biggest challenge yet this Sunday afternoon when they take on the high-flying Panthers in Round 21 of the Holden Cup at ANZ Stadium.
The Troy Finch-coached side come into this week’s match having gone down to the eighth-placed Newcastle Knights in a tight encounter by 24-22 at ANZ Stadium – a spirited second half revival from the red and green’s narrowing the gap.
Penrith – currently sitting atop the competition ladder on 34 points on the back of 15 wins – will be a challenge for Souths, who are now placed 15th with five wins to their name.
The Panthers boast one of the competition’s top points-differentials with 248, while the Rabbitohs have some improvement left in them with a points-differential of -100.
Look to Souths forwards such as Gabe Hamlin, Haimona Hiroti and Clayton Williams to lay the platform for the red and greens and Aaron Booth to take full advantage of any space made by those forwards from dummy-half.
Out wide, the speed of the likes of Irae Simone, Devon Makoare-Boyce and Josh Ellison will complement the grunt up-front and will no doubt see a number of points scored along the edges.
Make sure you’re there early this Sunday to cheer on the under 20s as they look to topple the Panthers in Round 21!
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will take on the Penrith Panthers this Sunday afternoon at ANZ Stadium, with kick-off slated for 4pm. Click here to purchase your tickets now!