The free-flowing Warriors football seemed to be back last week with four tries against the Titans, including the first from winger David Fusitu'a who led the regular competition in 2018 with 22.
In contrast, something isn't good in the Redfern neighbourhood. The Rabbitohs missed 37 tackles in the loss to Manly at Lottoland, which was only marginally better than the 38 they missed against the Titans the week before.
Wayne Bennett and his coaching staff will be feasting on defence in training sessions this week, particularly if you want to contain players like Fusitu'a, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Solomone Kata and Ken Maumalo.
Rookie Warriors five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tevita might need some research too. The 20-year-old made a line break and five tackle-busts on debut last weekend, and kicked five goals from six attempts.
Rabbitohs: One late change for the Bunnies, with Junior Tatola elevated to the starting lineup and George Burgess moving to the bench. Connor Tracey and Bailey Sironen were the last players cut before kick-off. Jacob Gagan was monitored throughout the week for concussion and cut from the squad on Friday with Rhys Kennedy. Souths have won seven of their past eight games against the Warriors.
Warriors: Good news for Warriors fans with Issac Luke cleared to return after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury. Jazz Tevaga successfully beat his dangerous contact charge and will come off the bench to allow Luke to start. Gerard Beale was omitted an hour before kick-off, while Adam Keighran and Liligiifo Sao were cut on Friday afternoon.
In the Queensland early autumn warmth positional kicking will be key to try to keep the bigger men fresh, which brings two of the best into play in Blake Green and Adam Reynolds. Get in early for ringside seats to watch Adam Blair try to monster Cameron Murray up the middle, while Damien Cook battles two tricky No.9s in Karl Lawton and Jazz Tevaga.
For the Rabbitohs to win
Firstly, they need Adam Reynolds to find his radar. He missed three goals against the Sea Eagles - two from easy range - plus two field goals, although one hit the left upright. Secondly, a clean-up of the handling errors would help. There's no stat to measure attitude, but if they up the ante on that one the Rabbitohs will go a long way to stopping back-to-back losses.
For the Warriors to win
Rough up the South Sydney forwards a little in the opening 20 minutes and then run them ragged by letting the Warriors back-five taunt them. But the Rabbitohs can match the Warriors in flamboyance so the Auckland team need to be disciplined in defence as No.6 Cody Walker is roaming all over the field to link up with his outside backs.
Brett Kimmorley says
South Sydney are probably playing the most physical style of football at the moment. I don’t think Wayne Bennett will allow his team to drop two games in a row, they made a lot of errors last week. The Warriors can look really good when they are winning, I just don’t know if they can grind out victories. Rabbitohs by 8
Rabbitohs Stat Attack
Reynolds has been off target with the boot but he still has more goals (16) than anyone else in the NRL. He's also tops in try assists (6) and all kicks (60).
Warriors Stat Attack
Jazz Tevaga is equal-first in handling errors (7), while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is equal-fourth in line breaks (4) and equal-third in tackle breaks (23).
And another thing ...
Sam Burgess has four tries from four games. He needs to get his fellow forwards interested in the white chalk as neither Cook, John Sutton, Tom Burgess or Junior Tatola have scored yet, although Murray at lock is holding his own with two.