Roosters v Rabbitohs preview - 2017 Round 18

Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs Friday 7:50pm at Sydney Football Stadium (1988-2018)

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.

Last meeting: Round 4 2017 - Rabbitohs 6 Roosters 20

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.

The favourite: With Origin stars out for the Bondi boys, Souths are favourites.

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

1. Michael Gordon 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Mitchell Aubusson 5. Joseph Manu 17. Mitchell Cornish 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Zane Tetevano 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Isaac Liu 6. Connor Watson 14. Kane Evans 16. Lindsay Collins 18. Nat Butcher

1. Cody Walker 2. Alex Johnston 3. Aaron Gray 4. Bryson Goodwin 5. Braidon Burns 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Robbie Farah 10. David Tyrrell 11. Tyrell Fuimaono 12. Angus Crichton 13. Sam Burgess 14. Damien Cook 15. Jason Clark 16. Zane Musgrove 17. George Burgess

Referees: Ashley Klein, Dave Munro; Sideline Officials: Nick Beashel, Jason Walsh; Video Referees: Luke Patten, Steve Chiddy;

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