NRL Round 11 – Match 4 Preview: New Zealand Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs

On Sunday New Zealand are lucky enough to be having their second home game in a row, however the they aren’t as lucky coming up against the red hot Rabbitohs after South Sydney’s massive win last week.

In the Heritage round the Warriors trounced the Cowboys 24 – 12, boosting them into the number seventh spot on the ladder. It was a welcome win for New Zealand following their three previous losses, the round nine bye helping them to recoup and come out firing.

But it was South Sydney’s round 10 performance that had everyone’s tongues wagging, when the Bunnies handed the Tigers an embarrassing 50 – 10 thrashing. The Rabbitohs are now in fifth place and keen to possibly break into the top four with another victory this week.

History between these two in Auckland and recent form have us backing the Rabbitohs here, currently the $2.00 underdogs with Ladbrokes.com.au.

Away on Origin duties for the Bunnies is Dave Taylor, named on the bench for the Maroons, while New Zealand are safe throughout the State v State series. So with both teams at nearly full strength, Origin is no excuse here.

The Warriors have suffered a blow with Manu Vatuvei out again though. And Luke Stuart fills in as captain for the Rabbitohs as skipper Roy Asotasi has been ruled out for up to four weeks after sustaining a shoulder injury in their big win last week.

New Zealand haven’t beaten the Bunnies at Mt Smart since 2006. Last time they met South Sydney held off the Warriors 22 – 16 and we see a similar result on the cards for Sunday as long as the Rabbitohs bring the same physicality, commitment and attack they did against the Tigers, because this one won’t be as easy.

An important game for both teams as the finals near closer and maintaining that coveted spot in the top eight will be at the forefront of all their minds.

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Warriors $1.80 – Rabbitohs $2 Ladbrokes.com.au

Round 11 Warriors Team:

1. Lance Hohaia 2. Kevin Locke 3. Brent Tate 4. Jerome Ropati 5. Bill Tupou 6. James Maloney 7. Brett Seymour 8. Sam Rapira 9. Aaron Heremaia 10. Mataupu Poching 11. Simon Mannering (c) 12. Ukuma Ta’ai 13. Michael Luck

Bench: 14. Lewis Brown 15. Ian Henderson 16. Ben Matulino 17. Russell Packer

Reserve: 18. Jesse Royal

Round 11 Rabbitohs Team:

1. Rhys Wesser 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Colin Best 4. Beau Champion 5. Fetuli Talanoa 6. John Sutton 7. Chris Sandow 8. Scott Geddes 9. Issac Luke 10. Luke Stuart (c) 11. Sam Burgess 12. Eddy Pettybourne 13. Ben Lowe

Bench: 14. Garrett Crossman 15. Shannan McPherson 16. Michael Crocker 17. Jason Clark

Reserve: 13. Luke Capewell