Rabbitohs vs Broncos Game Preview

Image source: NRL.com
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Brisbane Broncos
ANZ Stadium
7:50pm AEST, 9:50pm NZ
Thursday, April 26th, 2018
Team Lists

Rabbitohs:
1 Alex Johnston, 
2 Richie Kennar, 
3 Greg Inglis (c), 
4 Dane Gagai, 
5 Robert Jennings, 
6 Cody Walker, 
7 Adam Reynolds, 
8 Thomas Burgess, 
9 Damien Cook, 
10 George Burgess, 
11 John Sutton, 
12 Angus Crichton, 
13 Cameron Murray
Interchange: 
14 Adam Doueihi, 
15 Mark Nicholls, 
16 Jason Clark, 
17 Tevita Tatola
 Reserves: 19 Hymel Hunt, 21 Kyle Turner
Broncos
1 Darius Boyd (c), 
2 Corey Oates, 
3 James Roberts, 
4 Tom Opacic, 
5 Jamayne Isaako, 
6 Anthony Milford, 
7 Jack Bird, 
8 Matthew Lodge, 
9 Josh McGuire, 
10 Sam Thaiday, 
11 Alex Glenn, 
12 Jaydn Su’a, 
13 Tevita Pangai jnr 
Interchange: 
14 Sam Tagataese, 
15 Joe Ofahengaue, 
16 Kodi Nikorima, 
17 Korbin Sims 
Reserves: 18 Jonus Pearson, 21 Payne Haas
Match Preview
The South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Brisbane Broncos come up against each other in the only Thursday night game on a long ANZAC weekend, with both teams wanting to get the points and cement a spot inside the top 8. South Sydney are coming off a brilliant win against the Canberra Raiders, sitting in 6th after 7 rounds. Brisbane, on the other hand, are looking from the outside in after a loss against the Storm left them 10th.
There will be plenty to come out of this game, with more than just two points on the line for both teams. A few players will be looking to cement their name into the Origin conjecture, with Damien Cook and Anthony Milford both looking to put their names on the team sheets.
The Bunnies come in yet again without Sam Burgess, who took a 2 week early plea for a shot on Aidan Sezer last week. Cameron Murray comes back into the 13 after a few weeks out  with a hamstring injury, wiile Adam Doueihi is back on the bench for Hymel Hunt. Brisbane lost Andrew McCullough to a nasty elbow injury, so Josh McGuire moves into the hooking role with Tevita Pangai Jnr going to lock and Sam Tagataese on the bench. Payne Haas may get a game, with Matt Lodge 50/50 due to a rib injury.
Key Match Ups
Cook vs McGuire
The back up hooker for so many years at the Bunnies has now turned into an Origin bolter for NSW, with Damien Cook running straight through every team he plays. Cook is one of the better defensive hookers in the competition, with his explosiveness out of dummy half turning teams inside out. Josh McGuire has been serviceable in the past while playing hooker, however it still is unfamiliar territory for the usual lock.His passing game is decent, but his running game out of dummy half is something to be desired. Expect Cook to tear it up here. 
Lock them up
Tevita Pangai Jnr is an absolute beast on the best of days. Cameron Murray has been brilliant for the Rabbitohs when he is fit and on the field. Both players shouldn't play the full compliment tonight, however you can expect plenty of barreling hit ups and even more bruising tackles coming out of the two locks. Do not be surprised if the winning team has their lock go over for a try here. 
Battle of the finishers
Corey Oates and Jamayne Isaako have been in pretty good form as of late for the Broncos. Richie Kennar is a smokey for the signing of the year with his start at South Sydney, while Rob Jennings is tearing it up in the left edge. All 4 wingers only need a centimetre of space to get over the tryline, and it would not surprise me if 3 of the 4, if not all 4 got over tonight. This will definitely be the battle to watch for me.
Prediction
This really could go either way. The hooking battle will probably decide who wins this one and Damien Cook has been in scintillating form. Cook to score and Bunnies to win 1-12.
Rabbitohs 22-16
Chumpie

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