PREVIEW: Rd 8, 2017
This article first appeared on NRL.com.
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos
Two of the NRL's most supported clubs will face off on Friday night at ANZ Stadium for the NRL's ANZAC Round clash. With the Rabbitohs picked as underdogs for the Round eight clash they'll be looking to come out of the gates strongly against Bennett's team.
The Brisbane Broncos are flying after securing their first back-to-back wins of the season, dispatching the highly fancied Sydney Roosters and the gritty Gold Coast Titans in consecutive weeks. It leaves Wayne Bennett's men in sixth place.
On the other hand, the South Sydney Rabbitohs are struggling to post results after spending long periods in games with the majority of possession and attacking position.
"It's about our focus within the group," said Head Coach Michael Maguire.
"We showed signs, especially in the last few games, that we've got a lot of quality happening,
"Our big key now is being able to play our plays and defend the way we can for that 80 minute period."
The Rabbitohs will see this as a must-win clash as they look to improve their ladder position after playing a third of their 2017 campaign.
It's interesting to note that the past five matches between Brisbane and South Sydney have been decided by 20 points or more, so some would say they are due for a close finish.
The Broncos have named Korbin Sims and Sam Thaiday in the starting pack after playing off the bench last week, while Joe Ofahengaue replaces the injured Tevita Pangai Junior on the bench.
There are no changes for South Sydney, although centre Hymel Hunt is an outside chance of returning after being named on the extended bench.
Sam Burgess was found not guilty at the NRL judiciary when he chose to fight a grade-one shoulder charge on Tuesday night and will lead the Rabbitohs as they run out in special ANZAC Round Jerseys in support of the 104th Battery.
It's been a frustrating start to the year for the Bunnies who have managed just one win in 2017 despite being competitive in most of their matches. Last week's 30-24 loss to the Bulldogs was a golden opportunity for two competition points that they let slip.
Brisbane are still trying to figure out how they let a 20-6 half-time lead slip against the Titans. They will be severely undermanned for this one with metre-eating lock Patrick Carrigan out for six weeks with a dislocated wrist while Josh Fauid is also out with a broken collarbone.