Round 10: MAGIC ROUND: Cronulla v Souths preview
If there were ever two teams in need of some spark from Magic Round it is the Sharks and Rabbitohs, with both heading to Brisbane off the back of embarrassing defeats.
South Sydney's 50-0 drubbing at the hands of Melbourne caught everyone off guard.
Sure the Rabbitohs were missing a host of first graders but this is a team that is supposed to be contending for a premiership.
Instead they were made to look like anything but as Josh Addo-Carr ran in six tries to expose South Sydney's right-edge defence.
The Rabbitohs are boosted though by the return of halfback Adam Reynolds.
He may not plug the defensive holes that saw Souths stumble last week but his composure and long-range kicking game will be much-needed if the Rabbitohs again struggle to dominate up front.
While many anticipate South Sydney's loss to Melbourne will be a one-off, the opposite is true for Cronulla, who have been on a downward spiral since John Morris' exit.
The Sharks' error-prone performance last Friday did not go close to challenging the ladder leaders, with Penrith running out 48-0 winners.
The musical chairs in the halves surely cannot go on much longer as the Sharks put a red line through 2021 and instead plan for the upcoming season, settling on whether Moylan or Johnson is part of their long-term plans.
Who to watch: The battle of the fullbacks shapes as an interesting one. William Kennedy had his most disappointing game of the season last week for Cronulla, with minimal involvement in attack. That though spoke volumes to how poor the Sharks were in building pressure as opposed to his own individual effort. It also signalled the need for Cronulla's halves to make sure to give him early ball in the red zone as Kennedy's combination of speed and ball playing makes him a dangerous option worth pursuing with out the back.
Meanwhile, Cody Walker also could wreak havoc out the back against a Cronulla side lacking in defensive resilience. The Sharks were incredibly passive in defence last week against Penrith and cannot afford Walker the same amount of time and space to make decisions. Otherwise they stand to be on the wrong end of another lopsided scoreline. While not on Walker's mind, the opportunity to stamp his claim at fullback before Latrell Mitchell's return could also strengthen his Origin hopes. No - he won't be another fullback playing out of position, five-eighth is undoubtedly his best spot but showing off his versatility will certainly only help his chances.
The favourite: Souths are well backed to take this one out.
My tip: The Rabbitohs' collapse was a one-off last week. Cronulla's wasn't. Simple as that. South Sydney by 24.