PREVIEW: Rd 20, 2016
Rabbitohs vs. Sea Eagles
Monday 25 July
Gates open 4:30pm
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will call Allianz Stadium home when they take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in Round 20 of the Telstra Premiership on Monday night.
The clash against the northern beaches-based side will be the Rabbitohs first and only home game at Allianz Stadium this season.
An agreement between the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and the foundation Club ensures that the Red and Greens play a game at the precinct on an annual basis.
The fixture against the Sea Eagles also signals the Men of League Round – appointed by the NRL to showcase the work of the foundation that provides significant support to members of the rugby league community that have fallen on hard times.
Despite both sides securing differing results in Round 19, both teams find themselves in a similar position on the ladder, with the Rabbitohs sitting in 13th and the Sea Eagles in 12th position.
Coming off the back of six straight losses, the Rabbitohs will be looking to reverse their fortunes and claim their first home victory since Round 11 and their second victory over the Sea Eagles in 2016, following a 16-12 victory in Round 5 at Brookvale Oval.
Backing up from their golden-point thriller against the New Zealand Warriors in Perth, Manly will be looking to claim the two premiership points and keep their finals dream alive after displaying some promising football in recent weeks.
The Rabbitohs will be bolstered by the return of injured duo Bryson Goodwin and Adam Reynolds, who will provide the Red and Greens with an added element in attack. Angus Crichton and George Burgess will also take the field, backing up their solid returns from injury in Round 19 and providing the Rabbitohs with extra grunt in the forward pack.
With the Home side strengthened by the return of Adam Reynolds and Bryson Goodwin, Coach Maguire is keen to see his Rabbitohs side getting closer to full strength.
“We’ve had a number of bumps and bruises, and Bry’s coming off that broken arm, so I’m looking forward to getting Bryson back in and he’s a big part of what we are as a team,”
Spotlight: The Halves
As has been the case for the majority of the season, all eyes will be on the halves combinations of both sides leading into the clash.
A late withdrawal from last week’s match against the Broncos, Adam Reynolds will be looking to have a big game when he partners Luke Keary in the halves on Monday night.
With frequent changes occurring in the playmaking positions throughout the season due to injury and suspension, the trusty combination of Reynolds and Keary will be looking to provide their side with stability against the Sea Eagles and for the remainder of the season.
Finding themselves in a similar position, the new-look Sea Eagles combination of Daly Cherry-Evans and Jamie Lyon will be looking to repeat their solid outing against the Warriors in the absence of Dylan Walker.
Rabbitohs vs. Broncos
Monday 25 July
The Rabbitohs Holden Cup (Under 20’s) side was unable to make the most of their bye in Round 18, going down 52-20 to the Brisbane Broncos in Round 19 at ANZ Stadium.
Despite showing promising signs throughout the match, the young Rabbitohs were unable to match it with the impressive Broncos outfit.
Josh Ellison and Maia Sands both bagged doubles in the match, showcasing the ability that the side possess in attack.
Having failed to register a victory since Round 3, the Sea Eagles broke their string of losses with a 32-22 victory against the New Zealand Warriors in Round 19.
The win will undeniably provide the Manly side with fire in the belly and set up a thrilling contest between the two sides in the National Youth Competition.
Look out for Rabbitohs back-rower, Cameron Murray, who has impressed in his 10 matches in the Holden Cup this season. Averaging 39 tackles and running for an average of 104 metres with ball in hand, Murray’s form in the SG Ball and Holden Cup saw the youngster selected as captain of the NSW Under 18 side.