PREVIEW: Rd 25, 2016
Knights vs Rabbitohs
Sunday 28 August, 4pm
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will travel up the F3 to take on the Newcastle Knights in the penultimate game of the 2016 season.
Despite their respective positions on the ladder, with the Rabbitohs sitting in 13th and the Knights 16th, both teams will be fired up for big performances to build momentum into the 2017 season.
The Rabbitohs have turned their form around and will be looking for their third straight victory and their eighth win of the year when they venture to Hunter Stadium on Sunday. Victories over the Warriors and Sharks in the past fortnight have thrown a cat amongst the top eight pigeons and the Rabbitohs are building in confidence as they prepare to take on Newcastle in Newcastle.
The Knights are looking for their second win of the season and have been bolstered by the return of some key players this weekend, with Jarrod Mullen named at five-eighth and Mata’utia brothers, Peter and Sione, named in the centres and back row respectively. Their form belies their results this year, and they are capable of pushing any side on their day.
The Knights are also hosting their Old Boys Day this Sunday which always gives their side a boost, and they will also be farewelling players such as Jeremy Smith and Robbie Rochow at their final home game of the season.
Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds says his side will need to be on their game if they are to secure the two competition points this Sunday.
"Newcastle always lift for this game - it's the old boys game for them so no doubt they'll turn up fired up,” Reynolds said.
"We've turned in a few good performances; now it's just about continuing that on for the rest of the year."
Spotlight: The Number 7s
Members and fans attending Sunday’s game will be treated to a great battle of the halfbacks, with two New South Wales representative number sevens going head-to-head, Adam Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson.
Reynolds has had an interrupted season due to injury and State of Origin selection, but he is getting back to his best with his boot doing the damage and forcing his opposition to be under mountains of pressure.
Similarly, Hodkinson has joined a new club in 2016 and has begun to find his feet towards the back end of the season.
Both players are their side’s goal kickers and will be looking to turn four points into six as often as possible.
Knights vs Rabbitohs
Sunday 28 August, 1:45pm
Sunday’s under 20s clash between the Rabbitohs and Knights will have an impact on the final make up of the top eioht, as the Knights look to edge closer to eighth spot.
The Rabbitohs are out of finals contention but have turned in some inspiring performances in recent weeks.
The knights are three points outside the eight in ninth position, and will be hoping that Manly can pull off a miracle and beat the eighth-placed Raiders to keep them alive in the race for the finals should they overcome the young Rabbitohs.
The Rabbitohs went down to the Sharks by just two points last Monday night, and the Knights defeated the Gold Coast by two converted tries.
Maia Sands was strong in defence for South Sydney last start pulling off 32 tackles and missing none, and in attack it was Tevita Cottrell leading the way with 169 metres from 17 carries including 64 post-contact metres.
Keep an eye on these two players against the Knights this Sunday.