PREVIEW: Rd 24, 2015

Rabbitohs v Bulldogs

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Friday, Kick-off 7.45pm

One of the traditional Rugby League rivalries re-ignites this Friday night when the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs come head to head for the 152nd time in their histories, and there’s plenty on the line for both teams.

For the Bulldogs, it’s all about staying in the top eight with just three games of the regular season remaining. Just two points inside the post-season cut-off, the Bulldogs have the likes of Manly and St George-Illawarra nipping at their heels two points behind as they also look to qualify for the 2015 Finals Series.

Canterbury took a step in the right direction last week when they downed the Gold Coast Titans 36-14 in a dominant display by the blue and white forwards. Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, knows the dangers the Bulldogs pose very well.  

“They’ve got a skilful forward pack that like to move the ball or take you on,” said Maguire.

“The challenge through the middle is obviously a big one, but (we’re) looking forward to building on what we’ve been doing and improving on areas that we know we need to.”

The Rabbitohs meanwhile managed an impressive win of their own against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville last week, to the tune of 31-18 against the then-ladder-leaders.

Maguire’s men will be looking to replicate and build upon what was deemed by some to be their best performance of the year last week, however with Issac Luke and Luke Keary both out through suspension, a new-look Rabbitohs line-up will be going in search of that improvement.

John Sutton shifts back to five-eighth to partner Adam Reynolds in the halves, while live-wire, Paul Carter replaces Issac at hooker.

Maguire is confident with the tried and proven Reynolds/Sutton halves pairing, and is looking forward to seeing what Carter will have to offer from dummy-half – a position he has played plenty of for the North Sydney Bears in recent weeks.

“He’s had a bit of time there over the last few years,” said Maguire of Sutton.

“Unfortunately with Luke sitting out, he’ll come into the halves. Adam and ‘Sutto’ have a very good combination there so (I’m) looking forward to seeing those boys re-united in the halves.

“I think he (Carter) is going to be very valuable to us moving forward – he’s come on board and he’s trained really, really hard since he’s been here.

“He’s earned every opportunity he’s gotten and I thought he came on last week and provided a lot of energy around the team and the boys really enjoy playing with him.”

The game will also have milestone significance with Glenn Stewart set to play his 200th first grade game.

“All those milestone are always very special for any player,” said Maguire.

“Two hundred games is quite remarkable really when you think about how tough this game is. For Glenn, everything he’s gone through with his body and his injuries and those sorts of things – he’s really, really fit at the moment.

“He’s looking healthy for his 200th. We’re looking forward to seeing him out there again.”

 

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Rabbitohs v Bulldogs

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Friday, Kick-off 5.30pm

This Friday’s NYC clash represents an opportunity for the men in red and green to lift themselves off the bottom of the competition ladder with victory.

With the Dragons ahead of the Rabbitohs by just one point in 15th position, and the Bulldogs clambering to make the top-eight with just three games remaining, Friday’s match is significant for both teams.

Last time the two teams met, the South Sydney side went done down to the Dogs on Good Friday by 20-18 despite a late Rabbitohs revival.

It was the Bulldogs in control all the way until the final three minutes when Souths scored two quick tries to get them back into the game. But the game belonged to the Canterbury-Bankstown.

Make sure you head out to ANZ Stadium early to cheer our under 20s over the line!

 

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