South Sydney Rabbitohs v Newcastle Knights
The Run Home: Rabbitohs
The Run Home: Knights
Over the past seven weeks the Rabbitohs haven't been able to string two results together.
Backing up a win with a loss and vice-versa since Round 13, this week's clash with the Knights poses the perfect opportunity to win consecutive games.
Not that it'll come easy. With the Knights winning their first game since Round 10 last weekend against the Titans, they were able to reverse a six-game losing streak and produce just their second win since Round 5.
As the Knights look to simply avoid the wooden spoon, and send captain Kurt Gidley out on a high, the stakes are much higher for the Rabbitohs who returned to the top four following their win over the Dragons in the Men of League Heritage Round last week.
Helping the reigning premiers' cause is the return from suspension of hooker Issac Luke, who replaces Cameron McInnes (ankle) at dummy-half.
The Knights also welcome back their hooker Adam Clydsdale, who comes into the team for Tyler Randell who was heavily concussed against the Titans while they'll also celebrate Jeremy Smith's 50th Newcastle cap.
Watch out Rabbitohs: Engine room trio Korbin Sims, Kade Snowden and David Fa'alogo produced three of the four most metres by individuals against the Titans last week. It means the onus falls on Tim Grant, the Burgess twins and Dave Tyrell to match them.
Watch out Knights: With Origin now behind him, and as the Rabbitohs' sole Origin representative this season, fullback and captain Greg Inglis looked like a refreshed soul in his side's win over the Dragons last Saturday. Becoming more involved against the Red V than at any point this season, Inglis produced eight tackle busts, two line break assists and a try assist.
Key Match-Up: Adam Reynolds v Jarrod Mullen – They are two individuals who have carried their team's fortunes for the most part of their careers. You could breakdown any facet of their season statistics but their importance truly lies in their kicking prowess. Two of the best kickers in the game, it's up to Mullen and Reynolds to find space away from the opposition back three.
The History: Played 36; Rabbitohs 11, Knights 25. While Newcastle holds the advantage in the overall history, the Rabbitohs have done well in recent times to peg back a few wins. Victorious in their past four clashes with Newcastle, with an average winning margin of 20 points, the Rabbitohs will have confidence in knowing they ran out 40-point victors the last time these two clashed up in Cairns in Round 21, 2014.
What are the Odds: South Sydney is just one of many short-priced favourites that punters have thrown into their multis. Surprisingly, there’s more investment on the Rabbitohs to win 1-12 than there is for 13-plus. Latest odds at Sportsbet.com.au
Match Officials: Referee: Henry Perenara. Assistant Referee: Alan Shortall. Sideline Officials: Steve Carrall and Rohan Best. Video Referees: Steve Chiddy and Luke Patten.
Televised: Fox Sports 1 (Live) – 7:30pm
The Way We See It: The Rabbitohs can use this game as a real stepping stone in their season. Inconsistent of late, a win here will go a long way in securing a much-sought top four berth. While Newcastle returned to the winners circle last week, it was against an opposition unlike the reigning premiers – Rabbitohs by seven points.