2 days ago
Warriors v Rabbitohs preview
Now this is a Super Saturday!
First takes on second and to kick off this delicious double header, the Warriors play host to a red-hot Rabbitohs side at Mt Smart stadium. The cardinal and myrtle come into the contest off three straight victories highlighted by a dominant performance against competition leaders, St George Illawarra.
After an indifferent first month, they've found form that has rocketed them up to fourth position. This has come off the back of an impressive forward pack, led by the Burgii and talented youngster Angus Crichton has allowed the backline to flourish and put Damien Cook in pole position to take the hooking rol for the Blues in Origin 1.
Conversely the Warriors have had a rollercoaster last month. From the rugged display against St George where they gave the then undefeated, Dragons no room to move to a pair of lows - being thrashed on ANZAC day by the Storm and held to the duck egg by the Roosters - has tempered some of the initial enthusiasm for them challenging this season.
The continued absence of Shaun Johnson hasn't hurt them as much it would've in previous seasons. Blake Green and Mason Lino have combined well in giving clean ball to a Fus-powered backline showing that the Warriors aren't blighted by setbacks and if they can match itagainst a confident South Sydney side we're set for a cracking contest.
Last meeting: Round 1 2018 - Rabbitohs 20 Warriors 32
The Warriors dominated the opening round showdown between these sides at Perth's double header.
Who to watch: The preening peacock of the NRL - Issac Luke has been in delightful form in 2018, looking much more like the player that drove, funnily enough, Souths to the premiership in 2014. With Johnson still missing, Luke takes much more of the responsibility for the Warriors - Luke has also produced some key plays in recent weeks against Saints and the Eels, so if he gets close, watch out for him to take the space offered and celebrate like it's 2014 again.
Speaking of 2014 - Greg Inglis is playing fullback this weekend. The dynamic centre shifts out to the custodian role with Alex Johnston's injury, and the superstar is slowly rounded back into form, right before origin one. He'll have more room to roam at the back, so I'd expect him to find the stripe and pile on some assists for the Rabbitohs, in what looks like an amazing contest in prospect.
The favourite: Despite the travel, the Rabbitohs' form has them in favour of the bookies, but only narrowly.
My tip: It's two sides coming in with supreme form. Warriors at home though, take it for mine, as Souths have been up for the last few weeks and ready for a come down. Warriors by 2.
1. Roger Tuivasa-sheck 2. David Fusitua 18. Gerard Beale 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 3. Peta Hiku 8. James Gavet 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Simon Mannering 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Chris Satae 16. Bunty Afoa 20. Karl Lawton
1. Greg Inglis 2. Campbell Graham 3. Adam Doueihi 4. Dane Gagai 19. Robert Jennings 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. George Burgess 11. John Sutton 12. Angus Crichton 13. Sam Burgess 5. Hymel Hunt 14. Cameron Murray 16. Jason Clark 17. Tevita Tatola
Referees: Grant Atkins, Phil Henderson; Sideline Officials: Clayton Sharpe, Chris McMillan; Video Referees: Luke Patten, Henry Perenara;