Round 18: Roosters v Rabbitohs preview - 2017 Round 18
Old rivals renew hostilities!
The two oldest clubs in Australian Rugby league do battle in Friday Night football with both sides desperate for the two competition points.
For the home side the Roosters, they attempt to steady the ship minus their origin stars after being annihilated by the Cronulla Sharks last week. In a uncharacteristically poor defensive performance, the Roosters had holes all over the park and were thoroughly outplayed. With no Boyd Cordner, Mitchell Pearce, Blake Ferguson and Dylan Napa the Roosters will need to rely on some of their no frills players to stand up and be counted as they look to get back into the winners circle.
Souths displayed their best performance of the season last week as they dispatched a shell-shocked Penrith side at ANZ Stadium. It was a superb team effort as the likes of Cody Walker, Alex Johnstone, Angus Crichton and Sam Burgess played out of their skin to help the Rabbitohs to victory.
Souths fans will be hoping that the performance wasn't a one off and it can spring board the Bunnies in to finals contention. Look for the Burgess boys to bring the heat to the Roosters in the early exchanges and it looks to get a foothold in the match.
The last six meetings between these two teams have been split three a piece. It is the longest running matchup in Australian Rugby league and is sure to have some spice.
Who to watch: Connor Watson development in his time at the Roosters has been impressive and he gets another chance to showcase to the NRL what a quality player he is. Look for his offloading ability when taking on the line as well as his short kicking game close to the line. Watson needs to have a standout game if the Tricolours are to get the win.
Sam Burgess was immense for Souths last week and will need a similar barnstorming effort if it is to overcome the Roosters. Some of his charges were with a head full of steam and often he was knocking the first defender out of the way. He is a talented player and Souths need him at their best in this contest.
My tip: Trent Robinson has his side well drilled and the loss last week may have been a wake up call they needed. With players missing, look for the younger Roosters stars to stand up and bring the fire. Souths need to be more consistent and don't know if they have it in them to string together another fine performance. Roosters by 2