South Sydney v Brisbane preview

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South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos Thursday 7:50pm at Stadium Australia

Opposites collide in Thursday night footy.

Two sides with opposite expectations this season come together in a clash on Thursday night at Stadium Australia. South Sydney will face the Brisbane Broncos, as Souths look to continue their climb up the table, with Brisbane looking to avoid sliding further down the ladder and into the dangerous territory of the bottom four. 

Souths are coming off a big 38-0 win last round against the Bulldogs in their traditional Good Friday clash. Most pleasing to coach Wayne Bennett would undoubtedly be that his side was able to keep their opponents scoreless. They will need to again focus on the defensive side of their game and not get too far ahead of themselves, after coach Bennett admitted they may have bought into their own off-season press following their round one loss to Melbourne. If they are unable to contain themselves, a desperate Brisbane side could prove to be a danger game for Souths. 

Brisbane were almost completely the opposite to South Sydney last week, going down 40-6 to Melbourne. Their defence will have to be a lot better this week against another side who can also attack very strongly. Brisbane will need to avoid allowing Souths to get on a big attacking role, or else the score line could turn out ugly for the men from Red Hill. 

In team news, the only changes to the Rabbitohs side comes through a suspension to five-eighth Cody Walker. Benji Marshall has been promoted to the starting side in his place and Dean Hawkins comes onto the bench in what will be his NRL debut. 

Herbie Farnworth is out this week for Brisbane after being one of their few early season highlights. Richie Kennar comes into the side at centre to replace him. Patrick Carrigan is also out this week. Tevita Pangai-Junior has been promoted to the starting side at lock in his place. John Asiata will return this week from the bench in a boost for Brisbane as well. Coach Kevin Walters has opted to stick with the starting halves pairing of Anthony Milford and Tom Dearden this week, with Brodie Croft coming off the bench. 

Last meeting: Round 13 2020 - Rabbitohs 28 Broncos 10

Who to watch: Adam Reynolds will be very important for the Rabbitohs this week in taking their attacking opportunities, especially with regular halves partner Cody Walker out due to suspension. Reynolds will also be looking to prove to the club why they should consider signing him on a longer-term deal, so look for a big game from the former State of Origin halfback. 

We didn't get to see much of Brisbane recruit John Asiata in round one after he was taken from the field with an injury. There should be a better chance to see what the former Cowboy can do this week, albeit off the bench. His creativity in the middle of the field could be what worries the Souths defence if anything at all. Look for Asiata to add a bit of spark to the Broncos when he comes onto the field. 

The favourite: Souths are the definite favourites to take out this game.

My tip: It's hard to see the Broncos improving too much out of sight from last week. They've also lost one of their better players so far this season in Herbie Farnworth and they have also lost Pat Carrigan who does a lot of work to help tie up the Brisbane defence in the middle of the field. Despite the loss of Cody Walker, they have a fantastic back up in Benji Marshall, so it shouldn't affect Souths too much. It will be very difficult for Brisbane to halt the South Sydney attack once they get into a groove in this game, so the Rabbitohs should win. South Sydney by 26.

1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Josh Mansour 6. Benji Marshall 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Tevita Tatola 11. Jacob Host 12. Jaydn Su'A 13. Cameron Murray 14. Dean Hawkins 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Patrick Mago 17. Jai Arrow 18. Hame Sele

1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Xavier Coates 3. Richard Kennar 4. Tesi Niu 5. David Mead 6. Anthony Milford 7. Tom Dearden 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jordan Riki 13. Tevita Pangai Junior 14. Brodie Croft 15. Thomas Flegler 16. John Asiata 17. Ben Te'o 18. Ethan Bullemor

Referees: Ben Cummins; Sideline Officials: Kasey Badger, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski; Video Referees: Ashley Klein;

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