Wests Tigers v South Sydney preview

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Wests Tigers v South Sydney Rabbitohs Sunday 4:05pm at Leichhardt Oval

The in-form Rabbitohs make the trip to Leichhardt to face their old foe the Tigers.

Luckily for the South Sydney Rabbitohs there will be no crowd at Leichhardt Oval and as we saw with Penrith's trip there earlier this season, it's no place to be when the Wests Tigers are roaring.

In fact, this will be Souths first trip to Leichhardt Oval in an incredible 14 years when they beat the Tigers 37 points to 12 in 2007. Back to 2021 and the Rabbitohs are sitting comfortably in the top four, two wins clear of the Roosters in fifth place, whilst the Tigers languish in 14th place after their embarrassing loss to the Melbourne Storm two weeks ago.

The two sides met earlier in the season, and it was surprisingly an exciting clash with the Rabbitohs eventually prevailing in golden point courtesy of a Thomas Burgess try. The Tigers aimed up in that clash and matched the Rabbitohs but in typical Tigers' fashion, they've been one of the most inconsistent teams this season, making it very hard to predict how this match will end up.

The Rabbitohs will be graced with the return of their five Origin players - Latrell Mitchell, Dane Gagai, Damien Cook, Jai Arrow and Campbell Murray - who got through Origin II unscathed and with Mitchell in particular absolutely roaring after another exceptional performance in the sky blue jersey.

The star fullback has been incredible for the Rabbitohs over the course of the season and he'll be their main strike weapon as they look to attack the Tigers weak edge defence. Benji Marshall will also return for the Rabbitohs to face his former side where he appeared in 257 games whilst Hame Sele comes onto the bench for the injured Tevita Tatola.

The Wests Tigers will be graced with the return of Adam Doueihi who missed the Melbourne fixture with concussion. Doueihi who has been one of their better players this season will provide an attacking target for Luke Brooks' cross-field bomb kicks, a tactic which they've visited many times this season to some success.

Despite sitting in 14th place, the Tigers are just two wins outside the eight with a bye up their sleeve and a win, although unlikely, against the Rabbitohs will help put the joint venture back on the right track after consecutive losses to the Parramatta Eels and the Melbourne Storm. With a relatively easy run home, the Tigers would love to gain some momentum before they face just three top eight sides in the final eight games, which also include a game against Brisbane and two against the Canterbury Bulldogs. The week off would've helped the Tigers reset after the 50-point drubbing at the hands of Melbourne and you know Michael Maguire will have them fired up for this clash at Leichhardt Oval, the spiritual home of the Tigers.

Along with Doueihi, the Tigers will also have Thomas Mikaele back in the side at the expense of Tom Amone, whilst Alex Seyfarth starts at Lock, pushing Joe Ofahengaue to the bench.

Last meeting: Round 6 2021 - Rabbitohs 18 Wests Tigers 14

Who to watch: As previously mentioned, Latrell Mitchell has had an outstanding year for the foundation club, sitting fifth in the Dally M Medal count before it went behind closed doors (although is ineligible for the highest individual honour after his suspension earlier this season). Mitchell had a field day against the Tigers earlier in the season accumulating 179 run metres and breaking nine tackles as he played an integral part in his sides' win. The New South Wales centre has scored six tries and assisted a further 10 in just 10 appearances this season whilst averaging a career high 136 run metres per game. Former Rabbitoh, Adam Doueihi will be integral to the Tigers performance and has been one of their best this year. The 22-year-old has split his time between five-eighth and centre this year as he's amassed five tries and 10 try assists in 13 appearances so far this season. He's very quickly becoming a forced to be reckoned with as he sits inside the top 10 of the Dally M count as voting went behind closed doors.

The favourite: The South Sydney Rabbitohs are the very easily the favourites for this clash, having not lost to a side that isn't Melbourne or Penrith all year. They've also won their last three outings against the joint venture and five of their last six with that sole loss coming in 2019.

My tip: The Rabbitohs are going to be hard to defeat, although the Tigers did come as close as you can get earlier in the season. The form of the Rabbitohs' stars will be tough to contend with and coming off the back of two heavy defeats to top four sides, I fear it could be a similar result for the Tigers. South Sydney by 16.

1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. James Roberts 4. Adam Doueihi 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Moses Mbye 7. Luke Brooks 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Alex Twal 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Seyfarth 14. Stefano Utoikamanu 15. Shawn Blore 16. Thomas Mikaele 17. Joe Ofahengaue 18. Michael Chee-Kam

1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Mark Nicholls 9. Damien Cook 10. Hame Sele 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Benji Marshall 15. Liam Knight 16. Thomas Burgess 17. Jacob Host 18. Braidon Burns

Referees: Grant Atkins; Sideline Officials: Kasey Badger, Peter Gough; Video Referees: Henry Perenara;

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