For the Roosters and the Rabbitohs, the season ends where the season started. The two teams will face off in a much anticipated rematch from week one, which the Rabbitohs won 28-8. Now, these sides are facing off for a Minor Premiership.
The winner of this match will have a watching interest in Manly against the Cowboys on Sunday, as Manly can secure themselves the Minor Premiership. For us neutrals, that’s probably what we want to see happen, as it ensures we’ll see the Rabbitohs and the Roosters meet again this season.
Both the Rabbitohs and the Roosters are just two points behind leaders Manly, but both sides have an absolutely commanding points differential in their favour.
Should Manly secure the Minor Premiership, this two sides will meet in Round One of the finals this month. I for one look forward to seeing a finals match up between these two long time rivals.
The Rabbitohs have won four of the last five meetings including the opening day game, although it won’t be easy for the Rabbitohs at their former home. The third placed Roosters have won their last five games and also their last four at Allianz Stadium.
The second placed Rabbitohs sit ahead of the Roosters only on points differential, and they boast similarly impressive form as their opponents coming in to this game. Despite losing to the Cowboys two weeks ago, the Rabbitohs have won six of their last seven games.
Amidst their season has been many impressive showings on the road. Away from ANZ Stadium, South Sydney have won 10 of 12 games.
Bookmakers are making the hots the favourite to win the game, pricing the Roosters at 1.70 with Bet365, and visitors South Sydney at 2.38 with Unibet. The ever unlikely draw is 21.00 with Bet Victor, although these sides do have one recent extra time meeting to their names.
The handicap is currently set at -4 in favour of the Roosters. After the early season thrashing they received at the hands of the rival Rabbitohs, you’d expect one may want to return the favour. With so much hanging on this game though, you’d have to think it’ll be a tight one.
Unfortunately, a few key names will be mising from Thursday’s team sheets. Despite the return of Skipper John Sutton, Adam Reynolds will miss a week through suspension.
The noticeable absentee for the Roosters, who also have a couple of players returning themselves, will loss the services of Jake Friend once again.
It’s paramount for the Rabbitohs that they do not let the Roosters run out with yet another early lead. They’ve made a habit of early leads, and their defence was absolutely stellar last week. The longer the Rabbitohs can keep this close, the better chance they have of pinching a result.
We’ve already missed the best price (2.10) on the Roosters, who continue to be pummelled at 1.70. I think their defence will shut down South Sydney on Thursday.
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