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As the bright lights of Las Vegas fade into the distance, round 2 of the NRL gets underway this Thursday night with a clash between two absolute giants of the competition

After a 36-24 defeat at the hands of the Sea Eagles at Alegiant Stadium in Vegas, the South Sydney Rabbitohs will travel to Brisbane to take on last year’s grand-finalists the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Despite the disappointing loss, round 1 was not all doom and gloom for the Rabbitohs, as there were plenty of positives to take out of that match and into this one.

Jacob Gagai certainly had a night to remember. As if debuting in Las Vegas was not enough, he also managed to score a try with one of his first ever touches in the top grade.

That performance sees Gagai retain his spot in the side this week for his second ever NRL start. The 28-year-old will no doubt revel in the opportunity to play consecutive NRL matches, and will be looking to prove to everyone that he belongs at this level.

New signing Sean Keppie too showed he belongs in the Red and Green jersey with a strong performance on debut for the club.

Against his old club the Sea Eagles, Keppie ran for 131m and notched up 19 tackles (and no misses), including an earth-shattering shot on former teammate Tolutau Koula in just the third minute of the game.

Superstar fullback Latrell Mitchell was also impressive, not to mention incredibly busy, yielding 7 tackle busts, 2 try assists and a try off his 29 touches throughout the game.

The entire Rabbitohs side will be looking to channel these positives into a complete performance this Thursday to secure their first win of the year against a Broncos team who will be looking to do the same after being defeated by the Roosters in round 1.

Adding to the intrigue of this match is the four-all record between these two sides in the past four seasons, demonstrating that neither side has truly managed to gain the ascendancy on the other in recent times.

Jason Demetriou Round Two Media

Last year saw the Rabbitohs and the Broncos do battle on two occasions for one win each.

The Rabbitohs were 32-6 victors early in the year, with a Latrell Mitchell double and a Campbell Graham hat-trick proving too much for the Broncos to handle at Suncorp in round 9.

The Broncos would hit back later in the year, inflicting a 36-20 defeat in round 21 on the Cardinal and Myrtle at Sunshine Coast Stadium as part of their charge to the 2023 grand final.

All eyes will be on young star Tallis Duncan, who makes his first appearance of the season after serving as 18th man for the side in Las Vegas. He comes into the back row at number 12, replacing injured Origin star Jai Arrow in what will be his 8th NRL outing.

Duncan has impressed with limited exposure to the NRL in his so-far short career, scoring one try in his seven appearances for the Red and Green.

He has also displayed an unabated appetite for the physicality of top-flight rugby league in both attack and defence. He’ll be primed and ready to go for this opportunity in the starting side on the big stage that is Suncorp Stadium on a Thursday night.

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