Round 11: Rabbitohs v Storm preview - 2017 Round 11
Annual trip to Perth promises fireworks.
Souths and Melbourne travel west to Perth to contest this important Round 11 clash on Sunday evening. Melbourne's shock loss to the Gold Coast Titans last week might be the tonic it needs to bounce back, however it comes face-to-face with a determined Souths side that ran riot last week to get back into the winners circle. A loss for the Storm could be a bit of a set back and damaging to its hopes considering that State of Origin is looming where it will more than likely lose the likes of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith (just to mention a few).
With Souths sitting on four wins from ten matches, a win will let them join a clump of teams on 10 points pushing for a top 8 berth. They will no doubt be trying to find that little bit extra for team mate Greg Inglis as he battles mental health issues as confirmed by the club earlier this week. This is a big chance for Souths to prove their dominance in 2017 against the best team in the league, can it stand up and be counted?
The Storm have dominated proceedings lately, winning nine of the last ten matches.Looking further down the fixtures list the Storm have won 17 of the last 19 matches which doesn't make for good reading if you are a Souths supporter. The last meeting these two clubs had at Perth led to a 16-14 win for the Storm.
Who to watch: For the home side the Rabbitohs, Cody Walker has been under a lot of media scrutiny for his comments about wanting a new deal at Redfern. All this to the side, expect to see him put his best foot forward on Sunday to help his side record victory. After moving to the fullback position Walker has given the Rabbitohs a new dimension in attack and his kick return metres are helping put the Rabbits into strong field position. Keep an eye on him to chime into the backline on that sweeping plays that Souths like to run.
For the Storm, it's the opposite fullback Billy Slater that will be a key to this match. Slater has picked up where he left off pre-injury. His speed is still there along with his support play. Although arguably his best attribute has been his ball playing skills that have hurt defences all over the NRL. Don't expect this to change any time soon.
My tip: Hard to tip against the Storm with their form and dominance in these clashes of late. Storm by 10.