Round 1 Preview: South Sydney Rabbitohs vs New Zealand Warriors

South Sydney Rabbitohs v New Zealand Warriors

Location: Perth Stadium
Date: 10 March
Time: 7pm (NSW), 6:00pm (QLD), 9:00 pm (NZ)

Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Richie Kennar 3. Dane Gagai 4. Greg Inglis 5. Rob Jennings 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Mark Nicholls 11. John Suttom 12. Angus Crichton 13. Sam Burgess
Interchange: 14. Cameron Murray, 15. Tyrell Fuimaono, 16. George Burgess, 17. Tevita Tatola

Reserves: 18. Robbie Farah, 19. Jason Clark, 20. Hymel Hunt, 21. Adam Doueihi Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 7. Shaun Johnson 8. James Gavet 9. Issac Luke 10. Adam Blair 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Tohu Harris 13. Ligi Sao
Interchange: 14. Sam Cook, 15. Leivaha Pulu, 16. Sam Lisone, 17. Bunty Afoa

Reserves 18. Jazz Tevaga, 20. Mason Lino, 21. Agnatius Passi, 22. Anthony Gelling The Warriors were massive under performers in 2018 while Rabbitohs probably performed on par with everyone’s expectations. This year both sides are tipped to finish out of the 8 so this round 1 line up isn’t too enticing for some. The Warriors have a host of new faces that could see them be a surprise packet in 2018 including Blake Green to steer the team around the park as he did for Manly in 2017. Both sides will look to kick off their 2018 in the right direction after a below par year in 2017. Key Match Ups: Match up 1: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck v Alex Johnston Alex Johnston had a good end to 2017 in the number 1 jersey and gave Souths fans a bit of a glimpse of what they can expect from him should he be given the fullback jersey full time. After a pretty disappointing season Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will be looking to kick off 2018 in style especially after inking a lucrative contract to stay at the Warriors. Match up 2: Damien Cook and Isaac Luke Another interesting match up is the battle of the hookers. Both clubs have number 9s who are keen to impress for different reasons. Damien Cook for the Rabbitohs will be looking to keep his jersey away from the grasp of Robbie Farah. An impressive trial match in the Charity Shield sees him in the starting line up and possibly playing 80 minutes. While for the Warriors Isaac Luke will look to kick his 2018 campaign off in style against his former club. After a very out of character 2017 season he will look to get his form back that had fans and commentators talking him up as one of the top hookers in our game in 2014. Match up 3: Sam Burgess v Adam Blair Even though they’re wearing different numbers i fee these 2 could have a few clashes in the middle of the pack. The Warriors have bought Blair to add a bit of mongrel to their pack that has often lacked that. Burgess had a good year last season and often takes it upon himself to take on the opposition packs leader and this match up promises to add a bit of fire to the clash. Prediction: Warriors by 4 Even though the Warriors are coming into this match as under dogs I do fee they have a lot to prove early on. If they can click with their new halves pairing I can see them having too much for the Rabbitohs.
- Nath


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