PREVIEW: Rd 14, 2016
Tigers v Rabbitohs
Friday 10 June 2016
Kick Off, 7.50pm
After trekking to Perth in Round 13 of the Telstra Premiership, the South Sydney Rabbitohs return to Sydney this week where they will take on the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Head Coach Michael Maguire’s side was unable to claim the two premiership points on the road-trip, going down to the Gold Coast Titans 28-29 in a golden-point thriller at nib Stadium.
Similarly to their opposition, the Tigers were felled in Round 13, suffering a 32-18 loss at the hands of the Sydney Rosters in horrid conditions at Allianz Stadium. Currently sitting in 12th position on the ladder, the 2005 Premiers will be eager to redirect their season and propel themselves back into finals contention with a win on Friday night. The strong blend of youth and experience present within the Tigers roster will ensure a high quality affair between the two sides.
Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, has named the same team that took the field against the Titans on Sunday, although the South Sydney mentor has acknowledged that improvements will need to be made.
“We had opportunities in that game where if we make the right option and put on the right plays – things turn out differently,” said Maguire.
“But this week, we’ve got to make sure that we’re getting those right calls. Obviously we’re playing against a team that are very young and very enthusiastic and no doubt will have a lot of energy and we’ll need to match that.
“Being able to get back out there on the field straight away and put on the things that we practice to do – that’s what it’s about on Friday.”
With the encounter against the Titans highlighting areas for improvement for Souths, there were also a number of positive signs that can be taken from the match.
In attack, both Sam Burgess and Cody Walker featured prominently, running for over 200 metres with the ball in hand, while Burgess and Cameron McInnes came up with monumental defensive efforts, completing over 50 tackles apiece.
Although the match will be played at ANZ Stadium, the Round 14 clash will be an away fixture for the Red and Greens, as the Homebush-based venue also serves as one of the Wests Tigers’ home grounds.
Ticketed Rabbitohs Members will have reciprocal rights for the match, meaning that a flood of Red and Green is expected on Friday night.
Spotlight – The Spine
After spending the majority of the season to date trialling a number of options in the fullback, five-eighth, halfback and hooker positions, it appears that a well-balanced spine has been developed by Head Coach, Michael Maguire.
The combination of Cody Walker, Greg Inglis, Adam Reynolds and Cameron McInnes has proved a potent mixture for the Rabbitohs in recent weeks. Throw Premiership-winning pivot, Luke Keary, into the mix off the bench and the Red and Greens are looking like a dynamic unit in the middle of the park, although it will take some time before the new-look spine is at its best.
Tigers v Rabbitohs
Friday 10 June 2016
5:35pm - NYC Kick Off
South Sydney’s NYC (Under 20s) side will be looking to claw their way back within reach of the top eight after a tight 14-12 loss against the Gold Coast Titans at North Sydney Oval in Round 13.
Having failed to register a win since Round 7 against a strong North Queensland Cowboys outfit, this week shapes as a big moment in the young side’s season. Last week’s heartbreaking loss against the Titans will provide the side with hunger and motivation leading into their clash with the Wests Tigers.
The rampaging Tigers side – who currently sit in 3rd position on the ladder – were humbled 38-12 by the Brisbane Broncos in Round 13 and will be looking to bounce back against the Red and Greens.
Look out for Rabbitohs halves, Liam Coleman and Chad O’Donnell, who will be looking to lead their side around the park and provide an added element in attack. Both have been strong performers in the Rabbitohs NYC side so far this season.