Rabbitohs vs. Storm
Saturday 6 August, 7:30pm
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be looking to get their season back on track when they head south to take on the high-flying Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in Round 22 of the Telstra Premiership on Saturday night.
Having come up short in recent weeks, the South Sydney Rabbitohs will no doubt be looking for a strong showing against the Storm, who themselves will be desperate to hold their position at the top end of the ladder as the season draws to a close.
Coming off the back of a disappointing outing against the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium in Round 21, the Rabbitohs will need to make considerable improvements in both attack and defence when they take on the rampaging Melbourne outfit – something that Rabbitohs youngster, Angus Crichton knows all too well.
“As individual players, we all need to lift our games,” said the back-rower.
“(Against the Raiders) I think our possession was something like 32 percent, so it’s tough to win games when you’ve got numbers like that coming at you. If we clean that up, it will be a lot more enjoyable.
“We need to go out and hold the ball and make our tackles, it’s as simple as that.”
In order to facilitate the necessary developments, a number of changes have been made leading into the match, with players finding their way back into the side after time on the sideline.
Hymel Hunt headlines the new inclusions, making his long awaited return from a pectoral injury sustained against the Brisbane Broncos in Round 8, whilst Greg Inglis, Thomas Burgess and Joe Burgess will also take the field on Saturday night.
In addition to his return, Inglis will occupy the five-eighth role in the absence of Luke Keary, contributing to the new look spine that also sees Damien Cook start the game at hooker.
Unlike their opposition, the Storm will be looking to maintain their recent record, which has seen the side claim five victories on the trot heading into the affair.
The encounter against Melbourne will mark two special occasions, with Round 22 declared ‘Women in League Round’ across the NRL, whilst also marking Crown Resorts Ovarian Cancer Australia Charity Challenge.
Crown Resorts will be making a $20,000 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Australia charity, as well as an additional $1000 per try scored in the fixture. Rabbitohs fans will also have the chance to get involved through bidding on signed match worn jerseys from the weekends clash, with all proceeds going towards supporting Ovarian Cancer Australia.
Spotlight: The Outside Backs
With injuries plaguing the Rabbitohs season to date, Head Coach Michael Maguire has been made to trial a number of backline combinations throughout the 2016 season.
Generally opting for a blend of youth and experience, the Rabbitohs mentor has put his faith in his youngsters against the Storm with Alex Johnston (21), Hymel Hunt (22), Aaron Gray (22) and Joe Burgess (21) playing in the outside backs.
Despite their youth and limited number of games in the top-grade, Johnston and Burgess have already represented their countries – with Johnston also winning a premiership – whilst Gray and Hunt have received higher honours, representing NSW City and Queensland Under 20’s respectively.
Combined with the excitement surrounding the Storm’s backline, with the likes of Marika Koribete and Suliasi Vunivalu, fireworks are guaranteed out wide on Saturday night.
Rabbitohs vs. Storm
Sunshine Coast Stadium
Saturday 6 August, 2:45pm
The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC (Under 20’s) will take on the Melbourne Storm in Round 22 of the Holden Cup on Saturday night.
Coming off the back of a 48-10 loss at the hands of the Canberra Raiders in Round 21, David Penna’s side will be looking for a consistent 80 minute performance when they square off against the Storm at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Finding themselves in 13th position of the table – one spot higher than their opponents – the Storm will also be looking to find their way back into the winners circle after their loss against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 21.
With both sides desperate to finish their seasons in a strong manner, the fixture will no doubt be a quality affair filled with the flair that is synonymous with the NYC.
Look out for Rabbitohs centre and Fijian representative, Tevita Cottrell, who will back up for his second NYC outing in as many weeks after making his return from a stint in the NSW Cup.
Averaging 132 metres with ball in hand throughout his 10 matches, Cottrell has proved to be an invaluable attacking weapon for the Rabbitohs, whilst also providing solidarity in defence – something that has been lacking in recent weeks.