Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers preview

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South Sydney Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers Saturday 5:30pm at Accor Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

The midde game of Saturday's trio sees the South Sydney Rabbitohs looking for revenge when they host the Wests Tigers at Accor Stadium.

Souths have struggled this season for any consistency and it shows by their eighth placing on the NRL ladder so far in 2022. The Rabbitohs have won just 5 of their 11 matches so far this season and see them sitting on a solitary point on for and against.

Last week, the Rabbitohs again didn't enjoy a trip to Dubbo when they fell to a 32-12 defeat against the Canberra Raiders. Completely outplayed in the opening forty minutes, the Rabbitohs trailed 20-0 and looked out of ideas both in attack and defence as the Raiders took advatange of the sloppiness in Souths plays. 

Two big returns could potentially boost the Rabbitohs with Mark Nicholls named on the bench for his return from injury whilst Cam Murray is added to the reserves for a shock return. Hame Sele has been named to start with Trent Peoples dropping out of the side, Tevita Tatola and Taane Milne will be under scrutiny in the lead-up after suffering head knocks last week.

The Wests Tigers have had a poor season but in recent weeks, they have shown plenty of improvement including a scratchy at times victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs. The Tigers come into the contest sitting in 15th spot on the ladder but have the added confidence of beating Souths earlier in the season.

Last weekend, the Wests Tigers took a 36-22 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs at a packed Leichhardt Oval. The Tigers started fast running in four first-half tries although goal kicking hurt them as they only lead 18-0 at the break. A poor period in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half saw the Tigers concede three tries and only lead by 2 points. A burst towards the end of the match put the game beyond doubt.

The Tigers are boosted by a number of key returns including Daine Laurie and Luke Brooks which will be a big boost to a Tigers side starting to find form. The return of Laurie at fullback sees Starford To'a move to the centres. Tyrone Peachey and Jock Madden are left out of the 17.

Last meeting: Round 7 2022 - Wests Tigers 23 Rabbitohs 22

Who to watch: The mainstay of the Souths side, Cody Walker has struggled this season and coming up a halves combination that is beginning to fire, Walker needs to find improvement quickly if Souths want to win. There have been glimpses of form that make Walker special, he needs to find consistency because the Tigers will be confident they can beat Souths.

Since moving to five-eighth, Luke Brooks has started to find form and despite being missing last week, he is a big cog in any potential Tigers form. There are still things to find fault in his game, but now playing the second fiddle to Jackson Hastings, Brooks is playing better Rugby League and needs to step up this week against a potentially powerful opponent.

The favourite: Souths are considered to be heavy favourites.

My tip: Going for an upset, the form of Souths has been below average and the Tigers with some key players back could find some form. The Tigers will be confident they can beat Souths yet again this season and I think with the form of Jackson Hastings, he can lead them to win. Tigers by 4.

17. Kodi Nikorima 2. Alex Johnston 3. Jaxson Paulo 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 15. Mark Nicholls 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 24. Cameron Murray 1. Blake Taaffe 13. Hame Sele 16. Siliva Havili 21. Shaq Mitchell 18. Josh Mansour

1. Daine Laurie 2. Asu Kepaoa 3. Starford To'a 4. Brent Naden 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jake Simpkin 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Kelma Tuilagi 16. Fa'amanu Brown 17. Stefano Utoikamanu 18. Alex Seyfarth 21. Tyrone Peachey

Referees: Chris Sutton; Sideline Officials: Matt Noyen, Nick Beashel; Video Referees: Adam Gee;

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