We look at four burning questions facing the Rabbitohs ahead of this Friday’s Round 8 clash against the Brisbane Broncos in Brisbane.
1. Is playing in the halves like riding a bike?
Adam Reynolds made a successful return to the field against the Cowboys last Friday night, and despite some early rust, began to re-establish his combination with Premiership-winning halves partner, Luke Keary. The match was the first time that the pair had the opportunity to partner in the NRL in 2016 and will no doubt build on that connection in the coming weeks, starting with this Friday’s game against the Broncos. How long before the combination reaches its best? Time will tell.
2. Carter, Cook, or both?
The number nine jersey continues to be a point of interest at the Rabbitohs, with Head Coach Michael Maguire continuing with a two hooker rotation in Round 7, albeit minus the services of Damien Cook last week. Paul Carter deputised at the ruck against the Cowboys, while starting hooker Cameron McInnes played the full 80 minutes – shifting to the back-row for a time. All three players provide vastly different approaches to the game. For Maguire, it will be about deciding on the most appropriate tactic for taking on the Broncos.
3. When will Johnston return?
Alex Johnston was a late withdrawal from Souths’ Round 4 clash against the Bulldogs owing to a hamstring injury. But the Test winger and Souths Junior is now edging closer and closer to a return to the field with each passing day. The potential inclusion of Johnston could serve to bolster an already fiercely competitive bunch of outside backs at the Club.
4. The Queensland connection.
While Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium is very much home to the Broncos, Souths’ strong representation of Queensland Members have consistently done well to fly the Red and Green in Brisbane in years gone by. And with Queenslanders aplenty in the Rabbitohs’ first grade squad – including the likes of Greg Inglis, Hymel Hunt and Dave Tyrrell – Suncorp Stadium may not exactly be a foreign environment.