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New combinations in halves, centres and back row

The Rabbitohs were left to rue missed opportunities in a golden point loss to Cronulla but they need to regroup quickly against the unpredictable Vodafone Warriors outfit on Saturday.

With matches against heavyweights the Eels, Panthers, Cowboys and Roosters to come after this weekend's assignment the Rabbitohs can't afford to slip up  against a team that took them to the wire in Magic Round.

The Rabbitohs led 26-6 at half-time in that match at Suncorp Stadium but clocked off to concede four tries in 15 minutes and almost let the victory slip away.

Finals are out of the question for the Vodafone Warriors but they'll happy play spoiler to any contenders who dare take them lightly.

The Rundown

Team news

Rabbitohs: Taane Milne returns from a finger injury in the centres, filling the hole left by Jed Cartwright (hamstring). Bench forward Tom Burgess (suspended) is out, replaced by Mark Nicholls. The other new face on the interchange is Blake Taaffe, who is recalled for his first game since Round 15. Kodi Nikorima is out.

Vodafone Warriors: Euan Aitken has been moved from the back row to the centres in place of Adam Pompey who drops to the reserves. Five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita is out with a knee injury so Wayde Egan moves from hooker to the No.6 jersey and Freddy Lussick has been promoted to start in the No.9.

Aaron Pene (illness), Bayley Sironen (eye socket) and Jack Murchie (parental leave) all return in the pack. Josh Curran goes to the bench and Jazz Tevaga drops out with a shoulder injury. Taniela Otukolo will play his first game since round 13 on the bench.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Isaiah Tass
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Marcelo Montoya
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 5 Jaxson Paulo
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Euan Aitken
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 18 Izaac Thompson
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
  • Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Wayde Egan
  • Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Lachlan Ilias
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson

Forwards

  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita Tatola
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Freddy Lussick
  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
    Prop for Warriors is number 10 Tohu Harris
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Bayley Sironen
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jai Arrow
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Jack Murchie
  • Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
    Lock for Warriors is number 13 Aaron Pene

Interchange

  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Blake Taaffe
    Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Taniela Otukolo
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Davvy Moale
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Siliva Havili
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Josh Curran
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Mark Nicholls
    Interchange for Warriors is number 18 Jackson Frei

Reserves

  • Replacement for Rabbitohs is number 3 Taane Milne
    Replacement for Warriors is number 22 Adam Pompey

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ben Cummins
  • Touch Judge: Nick Morel
  • Senior Review Official: Kasey Badger

Last updated:

Key match-up

Lachlan Ilias v Shaun Johnson: The young Rabbitohs playmaker has bounced back strongly from a tough outing against the Dragons in Round 15, coming up with some big plays as Souths have won four of five since that night. Ilias has come up with 13 forced dropouts and nine try assists so far in 2022 and he looks ready to handle the heat in the final month of the season as the Rabbitohs look to climb into the top four. Johnson's kicking game has delivered 19 forced dropouts for the Warriors and the veteran will look to finish the year strongly and get some momentum to carry into 2023.

Stat Attack

Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston leads the competition in tries (22) and line breaks (27). The Warriors' top tryscorer is Dallin Watene-Zelezniak with seven while Reece Walsh is their best line breaker with eight.

 

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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