South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Sydney Roosters
23 March 2017, 8:05pm
ANZ Stadium

South Sydney Rabbitohs 2-0-1

A hard fought win against an improving Newcastle Knights team, takes the Rabbitohs to 5th on the ladder after 3 rounds. Something that is creeping into the Souths side which we haven’t seen under the leadership of coach M. Maguire and that’s poor discipline. Last week they were down to 12 men, after G. Burgess lashed out, 14 errors and a measly 63% completion rate. To be honest, if they played one of the top teams last round, they would have had lost by 20 points or more. A big improvement in the above statistics will need to occur other wise it could be a long night against a very good Roosters outfit.

Sydney Roosters 3-0-0

Sitting in 2nd position is a stark contrast from last years start opening games. A controversial win last week due to a missed forward pass from the touch judge no more than 2m away. But for many we believe in the “footy gods” and this will be squared up in a later match. Apart from this poor call, it was what we expected a hard fraught battle with some razzle dazzle tries scored in a very entertaining game. Scarily for the other NRL teams, Pearce found his running game back last week. And no surprise that once he hit his strides, the rest of the team followed and they stepped up a notch. Penalties and errors are still stifling their game, if they can clean this up against Souths this week, it could be ugly.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)
South Sydney Rabbitohs:
Coach Maguire can’t catch a break at the moment the poor bloke. With three more forced changes to his “potential” starting 17 men.
At full back C. Walker, was playing 5/8, shifts A. Johnston to wing.
A. Johnston, was playing Full back, is on the wing due to Burns suspension.
J. Sutton, was playing second row, shifts to 5/8 due to the reshuffle of the back 3.
S. Talakai gets his second run on position at centre, with H. Hunt suspended.
It’s too early to say who’s playing where in the forwards, but it’s not their strongest forward pack, which could be of concern.
And it could all be reversed by Maguire an hour before the game to revert his Full back and 5/8 back to their original positions, to not break up an affective spine. Walker is on fire with 6 try assists to date, being at full back would limit this ability.

Sydney Roosters:
A shock exclusion of J. Friend, due to a late facial injury and their short time between games, sees C. Watson step into his big shoes for this match up. B. Ferguson also failed to impress Coach Robinson and has also dropped off the extended bench.
P. Carter moves on to the bench, however final team lists will confirm this.

Their last 5 game report card: Souths 3 wins, 2 at ANZ, Sydney 2 wins, 1 at ANZ
2016 – Round 6 – Roosters won by 7, ANZ Stadium
2016 – Round 1 – Souths won by 32, Allianz Stadium
2015 – Round 26 – Sydney won by 30, Allianz
2015 – Round 2 – Souths won by 8, ANZ Stadium
2014 – Round 29 – Souths won by 10, ANZ stadium

What we take from this?
With the largest win by Souths, largely due to the terrible off season dramas of 2016, we are liking the Roosters to get the job done in this fixture. Friend will be missed, but for us with Pearce, Keary and Gordon vs Walker, Reynolds and Sutton is a big tick for the Tri colours (Roosters). The Hooker position is a tick for Souths, but the better forward pack in the way of the Roosters should give their backs a better platform to execute their plans.

For Us we are taking a bit more safety in the Alternate line of -5.5 for $1.75.
ROOSTERS -5.5 @ 1.75 (Crownbet)

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