NRL Round 26 – Match 8 Footy Preview: St George Illawarra Dragons v South Sydney Rabbitohs

The final game of the final round of the regular NRL season for 2010 comes to an explosive end on Monday night as the year’s Minor Premiers host a desperate Rabbitohs team given one last chance to jump into the top eight at WIN Jubilee Stadium.

The Dragons have secured the top spot on the ladder for the second season in a row after their victory over the Knights last week, but aren’t safe here by any means as they have been fairly inconsistent towards the later end of the season.

Souths will be bringing everything they’ve got as they are currently ninth on the ladder and need to win this to be here next week. The Bunnies were able to beat the Eels by eight last week, but playing the Dragons at home is a tough ask.

If the Rabbitohs win this then Brisbane won’t make the top eight, so it’s not just Russell Crowe that is hanging out for this result.

When these two met back in Round 19 fans were treated to a real arm wrestle of a match with St George winning by just three points, so expect another full on face off again here.

With so many obvious advantages the Dragons will start the favourites, Ladbrokes.com.au currently paying $1.28 for them to win while the Rabbitohs are out to $3.70.

Back at nearly full strength with Dave Taylor, Issac Luke and Sam Burgess looking fit South Sydney still present some danger so if you smell an upset go with it and jump on their juicy odds as Luke and his dummy-half runs and Taylor and his offloads could see them get in quite a few points.

But the safe bet is Bennett and his boys with their eight-man extended bench and if they don’t win this, their confidence heading into the semis will be weakened.

Look for plenty of plays to Morris, who is just two tries behind the current leading tryscorer in the competition, Akuila Uate. Morris can still win the title and Ladbrokes.com.au have him at $7 to do so.

The Rabbitohs will know by Monday with all the other games having already been decided whether they have all or nothing to play for, so expect this to impact the odds closer to the match.

Footy Tip of the Match – Brett Morris to score the first try of the night at $7.75 through Ladbrokes.com.au

Current Head-to-Head Odds:

Dragons $1.28 – Rabbitohs $3.70 Ladbrokes.com.au

NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:

With Brett Morris fighting to finish the season as the NRL’s leading tryscorer for 2010 we are expecting a big show from him and have our money on Morris to score the first try of the night at $7.75 through Ladbrokes.com.au.

Round 26 Dragons Team:

1. Darius Boyd 2. Brett Morris 3. Mark Gasnier 4. Matt Cooper 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Jamie Soward 7. Ben Hornby 8. Neville Costigan 9. Dean Young 10. Michael Weyman 11. Beau Scott 12. Ben Creagh 13. Jeremy Smith

Bench: 14. Nathan Fien 15. Trent Merrin 16. Matt Prior 17. Jarrod Saffy

Reserves: 18. Nick Emmett 19. Kyle Stanley 20. Jon Green 21. Luke Priddis

Round 26 Rabbitohs Team:

1. Rhys Wesser 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Colin Best 4. Dylan Farrell 5. Fetuli Talanoa 6. Luke Capewell 7. Chris Sandow 8. Roy Asotasi 9. Issac Luke 10. Sam Burgess 11. Eddy Pettybourne 12. Dave Taylor 13. Michael Crocker

Bench: 14. Jaiman Lowe 15. Shannan McPherson 16. Dave Tyrell 17. Jamie Simpson