2018 NRL – New Zealand Warriors vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 26th May, 08:30 (UK)

Where? Mt Smart Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/Show.aspx?sh=WARR0618

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Beale, Kata, Maumalo, Hiku, Green, Gavet, Luke, Paasi, Mannering, Harris, Blair – Interchanges: Tevaga, Satae, Afoa, Papali’i – Reserves: Lawton, Gelling

Unavailable: Nathaniel Roache, Leivaha Pulu, Shaun Johnson, Mason Lino

  • New Zealand Warriors were able to defeat Parramatta last week despite being without key men Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson. The Warriors came from behind to score two tries in the final 13 minutes and claim a 14-24 win.

  • Warriors captain Tuivasa-Sheck returns following the birth of his child but Johnson is still sidelined. His replacement Mason Lino is also out so Peta Hika will take the role of five-eighth with Blake Green shifting to halfback. Gerard Beale comes into the centres for Hiku.

  • The Warriors did it tough on several fronts to earn their win last week. Not only did they have some important men missing but they also had less possession (45%) which resulted in them having to make more 52 tackles more than the Eels (363 compared to 311) in order to claim the victory.

RABBITOHS

Head Coach: Anthony Seibold

Starting 13: Inglis, Graham, Doueihi, Gagai, Jennings, Walker, Reynolds, T. Burgess, Cook, G. Burgess, Sutton, Crichton, S. Burgess – Interchanges: Hunt, Murray, Clark, Tatola – Reserves: Burns, Turner

Unavailable: Zane Musgrove, Jesse Arthars, Tyrell Fuimaono, Richie Kennar, Alex Johnston

  • South Sydney won a thrilling contest against North Queensland last week. Trailing by a point with seconds remaining, Jake Granville was blown offside as he attempted to charge down Adam Reynolds’ drop goal. Reynolds kicked the resulting penalty to give his side a 19-20 win.

  • Alex Johnston misses out after suffering a hamstring injury last week. His early departure saw Greg Inglis revert to his favoured position and he the Souths captain will line up in the #1 jersey this week. Adam Doueihi comes into the centres whilst Robert Jennings also returns on the wing with Hymel Hunt dropping to the bench.

  • Souths lost Johnston and Sam Burgess to knocks during the game last week and despite having less changes to use on the interchange bench, the Rabbitohs still caused problems when carrying the ball. They made 38.4m on average per set whilst restricting the Cowboys to just 33.1m per set.

THE PREDICTION

New Zealand Warriors host South Sydney in what could be the game of the weekend in what is a mouth-watering prospect at Mt Smart. The Warriors - sitting in third-place - will face a tough test against the fourth-placed Rabbitohs with them winning five of their last six games. The Warriors have been inconsistent of late but claimed a valuable win against Parramatta last week, a victory that came without two of the Warriors’ key men. One of those men returns for this game in the shape of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and he will go head-to-head against Souths’ Greg Inglis, starting at fullback for the first time this season. Inglis looked dangerous in that role having shifted there during the game against the Cowboys and his threat out the back could prove to be the difference to give Souths the win.