Round 22: South Sydney v Gold Coast preview
Saturday afternoon heads to the Gold Coast as the South Sydney Rabbitohs "host" to the Gold Coast Titans who are looking for their fourth straight win and hope to end their Rabbitohs 9 game winning streak.
The Rabbitohs extended their winning streak out to 9 last weekends after their 40-12 victory over the Parramatta Eels where they were dominant yet again.
The Rabbitohs were unmatched for the most of the clash with the Eels which has become a trend for the Bunnies since their streak started back in Round 12 when they beat the Eels 38-20.
The Rabbitohs form has seen them shoot into contention for the top 2 with their win streak and the faltering of the Panthers mid-season.
The Rabbitohs are also in touch with Melbourne should their streak falter but the Rabbitohs need to ensure they keep winning to keep in touch with the Victorians and the Panthers who will start welcoming key players back very shortly.
Coming into this week's clash with the same 17 and same 21 as last weekend, the South Sydney Rabbitohs are unlikely to tinker with the winning formula of last week.
Looking for their first finals appearance since 2016, the Gold Coast Titans have put themselves well in the hunt for a top 8 spot following their 36-14 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys last Sunday which marked a third consecutive win for the Gold Coast.
The Titans were impressive if not a touch lucky in their victory with things not going right for the North Queenslanders at times.
Many will have question marks on the form of the three-game winning streak for the Titans given that they have come against sides who are completely out of form (Dragons, Bulldogs & Cowboys) and that the Rabbitohs will be the first genuine test that the Gold Coast have had for a while.
The question though will be does coach Justin Holbrook again elect to bench David Fifita to start the game.
Who to watch: At the foot of the mountains, Josh Mansour was a fan favourite so his move to South Sydney came with plenty of expectations but a stop start season through injury and poor form hasn't helped Mansour.
Though since coming back into the side in R19, Mansour has had a major impact scoring five tries in three games and cracked over 150m including a massive 254m last week.
With the nickname Sexy, Toby Sexton is going to have a big reputation to live up to on and off the football field but focussing on the field, The Titans rookie has made a big impact in his three career appearances to date.
Whether Sexton is the Titans messiah and the reason they've gone on the winning streak may be a coincidence, but his performances have been excellent and will need to lead the Titans if they want victory.
The favourite: Unsurprisingly, the Rabbitohs are favourites for this clash given their better winning form compared to the Titans.
My tip: It's hard to go past the Rabbitohs in this one; With no disrespect to the Titans intended, their form would have looked better had they lost to Melbourne by a point than beating up on the out of form teams.
I think there is still plenty of improvement needed to get close to Souths and a 13+ result looks most likely. South Sydney by 20.