We take a look at four burning questions facing the Rabbitohs ahead of this Friday’s Round 14 clash against the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium.
1. How will the Rabbitohs respond?
It was a case of ‘so close, yet so far’ in Round 13 for the Rabbitohs – a single point downing the men in Red and Green in Perth in golden-point extra-time. The question now is, how do they respond? It was an energetic looking Rabbitohs that emerged from the nib Stadium sheds on Sunday for the second half to claw back from a 12-0 half-time deficit. That kind of determination from the get-go will go a long way to sealing the points on Friday night.
2. When will Keary be injected into the game?
As part of Head Coach, Michael Maguire’s recent positional shake-up, playmaker Luke Keary has been injected into games late to take advantage of tiring forwards with his sprightly attacking plays. Sunday’s game against the Titans however saw the pivot come into play earlier than expected to aid the likes of Origin players Adam Reynolds and Greg Inglis. Could that be the case again this Friday night?
3. Will Talakai be back?
Siosifa Talakai has come a long way in a short space of time. Still eligible to play in the under 20s, the 2016 Junior Kiwi has gone from the NYC, to the ISP, to the NRL all in the first half of the season. With his very first touch of the ball against the Titans, the hulking outside back scored, in part thanks to a brilliantly-timed short-ball from skipper Greg Inglis. But it was also his running in general play that helped endear him to the Rabbitohs faithful – at one stage helping to get the side out of trouble with a barnstorming run that displayed a number of his skills, including; strength, footwork and speed. Will he be given another shot this week?
4. Will Walker continue at fullback?
One would have to think so. In just two games playing at the back, Cody Walker has signalled his arrival as an NRL grade fullback – his unpredictability, speed, and stepping ability coming to the forefront as a result of the shift. Against the Titans, Walker ran for 242 metres with the ball in hand, broke 10 tackles and scored another dazzling four-pointer – backing up his individual effort against the Dragons from Round 11.
Stay tuned to Rabbitohs.com.au tomorrow for our team announcement for Round 14.