2018 NRL – South Sydney Rabbitohs vs St George-Illawarra Dragons Preview

AT A GLANCE

When?
Saturday 15th September, 10:40 (UK)

Where?
ANZ 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?
https://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=NRLANZSF18

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

RABBITOHS

Head Coach: Anthony Seibold

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

Unavailable: Adam Doueihi

  • South Sydney were agonisingly close to ending their Melbourne hoodoo but suffered a heart-breaking loss last week. Cameron Munster nailed a late field-goal to seal a see-saw encounter 29-28 for the Storm and force the Rabbitohs into this week’s semi-finals.

  • Greg Inglis and Adam Reynolds both suffered knocks during last week’s bruising encounter but are fit enough to be named in this week’s squad with the rest of the 17 also the same.

  • Souths didn’t complete seven of their sets last week which resulted in a completion rate of 81%. That was bettered by the Storm by 8% whilst the Rabbitohs also missed nine more tackles than Melbourne.

DRAGONS

Head Coach: Paul McGregor

Starting 13: Dufty, Macdonald, Lomax, Lafai, Pereira, Mann, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Ah Mau, Frizell, Sims, De Belin – Interchanges: Latimore, Sele, Lawrie, Leilua – Reserves: Nightingale, Field, Aitken, Host

Unavailable: Paul Vaughan, Gareth Widdop

  • St George were clinical in their execution as they brushed Brisbane aside last week. The Dragons ran in seven tries as Tariq Sims bagged a first half hat-trick as they defeated the Broncos 18-48 at Suncorp.

  • Gareth Widdop suffered another shoulder injury and will miss out here due to the dislocation. Jack De Belin and James Graham also left the field in last week’s win but are both named. Kurt Mann replaces Widdop in the halves with Hame Sele coming onto the bench.

  • The Dragons were superb with ball-in-hand last week but also defended extremely well. Their strong defence forced the Broncos into 13 errors and restricted them to a completion rate of just 68%. St George also managed to break a superb number of tackles in their impressive win (53).

THE PREDICTION

St George produced the shock of the weekend in the first week of the finals as they hammered Brisbane at Suncorp. Not many gave the Dragons a chance after a poor end to the season but they turned up when it mattered and even overcame the loss of key players during the game. James Graham, Jack De Belin and Gareth Widdop were all injured with the latter the only one ruled out so far this week. His loss is huge with the pressure on Ben Hunt to replicate last week’s effort. South Sydney will come into this mentally and physically drained after an absorbing contest against the Storm last week that saw them go down by just a point as a first win in Melbourne continues to elude them. They will need to produce a serious performance to back-up after last week in what is likely to be another engrossing contest here. If Souths play to their potential they will get the win but write off the Dragons at your peril.