We look at six burning questions facing the Rabbitohs ahead of their own Indigenous Round clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons this Thursday.
1. GI - five-eighth, centre, or both?
Greg Inglis’ return to the front line saw sparks fly in Round 10 against the Eels – the skipper instrumental in a new-look and re-energised back-line that looked as hungry as it performed. But while Inglis was named to play five-eighth – playing the majority of the match there – the international also played in the centres, setting up the match-winning try playing in that position in the process. So the question for Michael Maguire this week isn’t whether Inglis will play five-eighth or centre – it’s whether he’ll play both.
2. Will the Keary experiment continue?
A lot of the answers surrounding Inglis’ positional shift could be informed by the role that Luke Keary will play in this week’s line-up. Keary came on at five-eighth in the second half of Friday’s clash – pushing Inglis out to the centres – and while he only played 26 minutes, did plenty to make Rabbitohs Members and supporters cheer. With troops tiring late in the match, the injection of the electric Keary set the stage for a venomous-looking Rabbitohs back-line to inflict damage on Parramatta. The playmaker even scored the game-equalising try that would see Adam Reynolds kick the match-winner from the sideline. Will Michael Maguire opt for a similar game-plan against the Dragons?
3. Who will come onto the wing?
While Michael Oldfield came in for the injured Aaron Gray last Friday, the Tongan flyer himself wouldn’t finish the match with an injury of his own. While it remains to be seen whether Oldfield will play this week, should he be unavailable, the opportunity could be opened up to the Club’s young-brigade at the North Sydney Bears, or a positional shift with the likes of Bryson Goodwin and Kirisome Auva’a also an option.
4. What will more time at fullback do for Johnston?
In his first game back from a ham-string injury, Souths Junior, Alex Johnston, found himself in the number one jersey. The local product didn’t disappoint either, injecting himself into the back-line when required while also making some important tackles in the process. Given more time in the position, Johnston could very well make it his own.
5. How do you bottle the energy?
Whether you’re talking about Sam Burgess, Paul Carter, Adam Reynolds, or Bryson Goodwin, last week’s performance against the Eels saw the whole of the Rabbitohs outfit play with intensity and energy. The men in Red and Green will be looking to do much the same this week and for the remainder of the season.
6. What role will the Indigenous jersey play?
For the Club’s Indigenous men, this week’s clash represents their Indigenous Round and an opportunity to represent not only their team, but their people and family as well. There’s plenty of motivation this week. South Sydney’s 2016 Indigenous jersey is designed by Sydney-based Indigenous designer, Nikita Ridgeway, and tells the stories of the Club’s Indigenous players. Two important Australian organisations with a focus on Indigenous people and causes, KARI Aboriginal Resources and Recognise, also feature on the jersey thanks to Rabbitohs co-major partner Crown Resorts.
Stay tuned to Rabbitohs.com.au as we roll out interviews with our Indigenous Rabbitohs players, community leaders and a whole lot more in the coming week!
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Purchase your tickets to the Club’s Indigenous Round celebration at ANZ Stadium by clicking here!
Purchase your very own Rabbitohs 2016 jersey, also AVAILABLE IN WOMENS, by clicking here!