PREVIEW: Rd 23, 2016
Rabbitohs vs. Warriors
Mt Smart Stadium
Saturday 13 August, 7:30pm (local) | 5:30pm AEST
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are on the road again this week as they head across the ditch to take on the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in Round 23 of the Telstra Premiership on Saturday night.
After coming up agonisingly short against the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in Round 22, the Rabbitohs will be looking to bounce back and claim their fourth victory away from home this season.
Despite showing plenty of promise against the ladder leaders, South Sydney were cruelly denied victory in golden point, as Melbourne Storm skipper, Cameron Smith slotted a field goal in the 84th minute of the match.
Coming off the back of three straight golden point performances, the Warriors were able to secure victory in regular time against the Gold Coast Titans in Round 22.
With both sides showcasing high quality football in their most recent fixtures, this weekend shapes up as an exciting clash, with the Rabbitohs seeking to put an end to a string of disappointing results and the Warriors looking to continue their charge towards the finals.
Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, was proud of his team’s efforts against the Storm and believes that they are on the right track heading into the concluding weeks of the season, starting with the clash against the Warriors.
“I’m very proud of the players, we’ve been working hard to achieve that type of performance for a couple of months now,” said the Rabbitohs mentor.
“We’ll get a lot out of that game, I think the boys really found what South Sydney rugby league team is all about.
“We obviously want to make sure we have performances like that in our next game, that’s what’s in front of us.”
In addition to the positives generated from the game against the Strom, the Rabbitohs will be boosted by the fact that an unchanged side has been named for the clash with the Warriors, providing stability and allowing for combinations to develop late in the season.
Damien Cook was charged by the match review committee for a grade one dangerous throw in the 80th minute of the match against the Storm and has taken an early guilty plea, meaning that he is free to play after accruing 93 points.
SPOTLIGHT: ADAM REYNOLDS
After a strong display against the Melbourne Storm, Rabbitohs halfback, Adam Reynolds will once again steer the ship when his side takes on the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday.
In the absence of Luke Keary, the Souths junior has taken sole command of the South Sydney attack, something that he did brilliantly in Round 22, providing two try assists with pin point kicks.
This week will prove to be a tough task for Reynolds, as the New South Wales representative squares off against arguably the most exciting attacking player in the NRL, Shaun Johnson.
Despite playing vastly differing styles of football, either halfback will undeniably have a significant baring over the success of the other, as well as their own team.
Reynolds will look to attack via the boot, whilst Johnson will seek to utilise his strong running game to provide his side with the edge in attack.
Rabbitohs vs. Warriors
Mt Smart Stadium
Saturday 13 August, 5:15pm (local) | 3:15pm AEST
The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC (Under 20’s) will be looking to re-join the winner circle when they take on the New Zealand Warriors in Round 23 of the Holden Cup.
After suffering a 48-14 loss against the Melbourne Storm at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Round 22, the Rabbitohs will be looking for a strong defensive effort when they cross the Tasman to take on the traditionally strong Warriors outfit.
Currently sitting in 12th position on the NYC ladder, the Warriors will be looking to win their remaining fixtures to keep their finals dream alive, after narrowly losing out to the Gold Coast Titans 22-20 in Round 22.
Look out for Rabbitohs hooker, Maia Sands who has been a defensive lynchpin for the young Rabbitohs all season.
Sands’ appetite for defensive work – which saw the youngster make 50 tackles against the Storm – will play an integral part for the Rabbitohs NYC side if they are to claim a much needed victory.