Round 25 Preview: Rabbitohs vs Tigers

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium, 7.50pm

Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Campbell Graham 3. Greg Inglis 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. Sam Burgess

Interchange: 14. Hymel Hunt 15. Cameron Murray 16. Jason Clark 17. Dean Britt

Reserves: 18. Braidon Burns 20. Tevita Tatola

Players cut: 21. Matt McIlwrick 19. Tyrell Fuimaono

Tigers: 1. Moses Mbye 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 4. Mahe Fonua 5. Kevin Naiqama 6. Benji Marshall (c) 7. Luke Brooks 8. Matt Eisenhuth 9. Robbie Farah 10. Ben Matulino 11. Chris Lawrence 12. Michael Chee Kam 13. Elijah Taylor

Interchange 14. Alex Twal 15. Sauaso Sue 17. Josh Aloiai 18. Jacob Liddle

Reserves: 19. Luke Garner 20. Tyson Gamble

Players cut: 16. Robbie Rochow 21. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak

Match Preview:
Well here we are. After 24 rounds and a long, dramatic and eventful year, we have reached the final round of the NRL regular season in the year 2018. The first game of the final round has the Rabbitohs matching up against the Tigers at ANZ stadium, a fitting way to see off the season for the Tigers.

It’s most definitely been an up and down year for the Tigers, and it’s only fair that I get the honours of doing their final preview and review for the year. Whilst the club has seen a much improved year, still with the odd off field controversy, it’s been a year of mixed results, and sadly, a win here tonight would see them become only the second club since the Super League era to miss the finals with 28 competition points, usually the pass mark. The Tigers have trumped some table topping teams such as the Roosters, Dragons, Storm twice and of course the Bunnies themselves. However despite the big wins, they have had some incredibly disappointing losses, losing to 5 of the 7 teams below them on the ladder. That’s how we sum up their season, but to the delight of Tigers fans, they end the year with the extensions of the legends themselves in Farah and Marshall, and hopefully a win for my boys!

What an odd finish to the year it has been! The Rabbitohs aren’t alone in their disappointing end of year slump. We’ve seen the Roosters drop off dramatically, the Panthers hit a serious wall on and off the field, and the Dragons dropping to an all time low. Sadly the Rabbitohs join the list with a slow run throughout the end of the season. The Bunnies last played the Tigers not all that long ago, and were beaten very convincingly in probably their worst performance all year. The results haven’t been much better since then and now, and tonight is a seriously important game for them. Although finals are guaranteed and so is a top 4 finish, they will want to head into next week with a better lift in energy and motivation, and the Tigers stand between that. Once were minor premiership contenders are now fighting to regain the mid season form before finals. Can they?

Prediction: Tigers by 8.
Can’t go past my Tigers. No pressure to play under, a farewell game to two club legends in Sue and Naiqama, and the expectations of the Bunnies to win. I’m cheering my boys on!



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