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Rabbitohs v Bulldogs: Good Friday rivalry to be renewed

Moses Mbye was the man of the hour for Canterbury against Penrith, guiding the Bulldogs to their first win of the season. With  no injuries from their round three win, they are expected to retain the same roster this week.

South Sydney also received a confidence boost with their first win of the season, a confident 34-6 display against the Manly Sea Eagles.

The two sides are fierce rivals and have traditionally put on good displays but who will get the nod in this one?

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 4.10pm Friday at ANZ Stadium

The key match-up: Battle of the fullbacks – Bulldog Moses Mbye and Rabbitoh Alex Johnston were two of the standouts in their round three clashes that resulted in their clubs' first win for the season. Both fullbacks played a vital role in those wins contributing to the scoreboard so they will be looking to build on those strong performances as they go head to head. 

Rabbitohs v Bulldogs - Round 4

For the Rabbitohs to win: The Bunnies found their points on the edges in their 34-6 win over Manly Sea Eagles in round three, with Robert Jennings and Richard Kennar scoring five tries out of seven between one another. It's clear that's where they are most lethal in attack and if Greg Inglis and Dane Gagai continue to find their wingers than the Bunnies could be looking at another convincing win.

For the Bulldogs to win: Moses Mbye has proved he is dangerous when he has the ball in his hands, leading the Bulldogs to their win over the Penrith Panthers in round three with two tries, two goals and three line breaks. If the Bulldogs are able to find him close to the line again then it will be near impossible for the Bunnies to contain him.

Rabbitohs Stat Attack: The Bunnies have had no trouble so far in gaining possession, leading the competition in running metres with 5224. Hooker Damien Cook has contributed the most dummy-half runs in the league with 24.

Bulldogs Stat Attack: Mbye is yet again the man to look for, having displayed a high work ethic over the opening three rounds – ranking first in the NRL for most kick return metres with 206 and third for tackle breaks with 23.

And another thing: Since 2007 this will be the ninth time the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs faced up against one another in the Good Friday clash, in which the Bulldogs have come away with the win five times out of the eight matches.

Prediction: Rabbitohs by 12

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 4.10pm Friday at ANZ Stadium

Rabbitohs: 1 Alex Johnston, 14 Hymel Hunt, 3 Greg Inglis (c), 4 Dane Gagai, 5 Robert Jennings, 6 Cody Walker, 7 Adam Doueihi, 8 Thomas Burgess, 9 Damien Cook, 10 Sam Burgess, 11 John Sutton, 12 Angus Crichton, 13 Cameron Murray

Interchange: 15 Mark Nicholls, 16 George Burgess, 17 Tevita Tatola, 20 Braidon Burns

Richie Kennar is out of the South Sydney team, with Hymel Hunt (No.14) to start on the wing. Apart from Kennar, Kyle Turner was the other player to drop out of the squad 24 hours out from kick-off. Jason Clark and Robbie Farah were omitted an hour before kick-off.

Bulldogs: 1 Moses Mbye, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Jeremy Marshall-King, 7 Kieran Foran, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Michael Lichaa, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Joshua Jackson (c), 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13 Aiden Tolman

Interchange: 14 Adam Elliott, 15 Danny Fualalo, 16 Francis Tualalo, 17 Fa'amanu Brown

The Bulldogs will start the match 1-17. Asipeli Fine and John Olive were dropped from the bench 24 hours out from kick-off. Renouf Toomaga and Kerrod Holland were omitted an hour before play.

Head-to-head: 156 games, Bulldogs 81 wins, Rabbitohs 71 wins, 4 draws

Matches at venue: 26 games, Bulldogs 16 wins, Rabbitohs 10 wins

Last five head-to-head: Bulldogs 3 wins, Rabbitohs 2 wins

2017 results: Bulldogs won 24-9 in round 7, Rabbitohs won 28-14 in round 23

Points per game: Rabbitohs 22.7; Bulldogs 16.7

Points conceded per game: Rabbitohs 18.7; Bulldogs 28

Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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