It's the final round of the 2019 Anthony Seibold v Wayne Bennett duel and you can bet coach Seibold is seeking redemption after a 38-6 flogging from the Bunnies in round eight.
Working in his favour this time around is that the Broncos are playing better than they were in May and the Rabbitohs aren't clicking as well as they were during the same period.
Brisbane gave their top eight prospects a shot in the arm with last week's defeat of the Panthers but Seibold has some big selection decisions to make with the suspension of both Jake Turpin and Tevita Pangai.
Souths are coming off last week's loss to the Bulldogs and will struggle to finish in the top four on recent form. The Bunnies appear to have hit the wall and don't look like lasting long in the post-season.
Match: Broncos v Rabbitohs
Round 23 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Broncos: The loss of Tevita Pangai to suspension is offset by the return of Matt Gillett from a back injury. Halfback Jake Turpin has also been suspended and his place is taken by Sean O'Sullivan. Alex Glenn returns after missing two weeks with a knee injury so Gehamat Shibasaki goes to the bench and Izaia Perese drops to the reserves. Shaun Fensom and Tesi Niu dropped off the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off. Rhys Kennedy and Izaia Perese were the final two cut an hour before game time.
Rabbitohs: Two late changes for Souths an hour before kick-off with Kyle Turner and Ethan Lowe dropping out. Corey Allan moves into the centres and Bayley Sironen takes Lowe's spot on the bench. The Bunnies had already lost Sam Burgess (quad) on Thursday. He was replaced in the starting side by Junior Tatola. The new man on the bench is Tom Amone. Centre Braidon Burns is out with a hamstring injury. A knee injury to prop Tom Burgess allows Liam Knight to move into the starting team and Mark Nicholls to come onto the bench. Connor Tracey was omitted from the squad on Thursday. The Rabbitohs have not defeated the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium since 2015.
Match: Broncos v Rabbitohs
Round 23 -
Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Anthony MilfordFullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Adam Doueihi
Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey OatesWinger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Dane Gagai
Centre for Broncos is number 3 Kotoni StaggsCentre for Rabbitohs is number 3 James Roberts
Centre for Broncos is number 4 Alex GlennCentre for Rabbitohs is number 19 Corey Allan
Winger for Broncos is number 5 Jamayne IsaakoWinger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Campbell Graham
Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Darius BoydFive-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Sean O'SullivanHalfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds
Prop for Broncos is number 8 Matthew LodgeProp for Rabbitohs is number 10 Liam Knight
Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Andrew McCulloughHooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne HaasProp for Rabbitohs is number 17 Tevita Tatola
2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 David Fifita2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 John Sutton
2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Matt Gillett2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
Lock for Broncos is number 13 Joe OfahengaueLock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
Interchange for Broncos is number 14 James SegeyaroInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Mark Nicholls
Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Thomas FleglerInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Dean Britt
Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Gehamat ShibasakiInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 18 Tom Amone
Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Patrick CarriganInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 20 Bayley Sironen
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Referee: Henry Perenara
- Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
- Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
Payne Haas was the toast of Brisbane with last week's match-sealing try against Penrith and he'll have to be equally effective on Friday night against the Bunnies, especially in the absence of Tevita Pangai. Brisbane's halves will also have to be on their game against Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker.
For the Broncos to win
They need to play with the same hunger and intensity they displayed against Penrith and be armed with a strong defensive mindset. Shutting down Damien Cook will go a long way toward success, but they also have to pay similarly close attention to Walker and Reynolds.
For the Rabbitohs to win
Damien Cook needs to be at his scheming best at dummy-half and keep the Broncos guessing all night. If the Bunnies' designated metre-eaters can keep their Brisbane counterparts on the back foot for most of the game, the Bunnies might have too many weapons for the home team to handle.
Brett Kimmorley says
Former coaches against former clubs and one of those clubs (Brisbane) fighting tooth and nail to make the eight. David Fifita and Payne Haas were unbelievable last week and for the Broncos this is an opportunity to show their former coach the new style Anthony Seibold is playing with. For South Sydney, they’re at desperation stakes now. The South Sydney forward pack need to handle the physicality of the young Broncos. Broncos by 4
Brisbane will miss Tevita Pangai's ability to keep the ball alive in traffic. Pangai leads the NRL in offloads (55), while Bunnies duo Damien Cook and Cody Walker both rank in the top five for line break assists.
And another thing ...
The Rabbitohs showed no mercy when they hosted the Broncos in round eight. Cody Walker scored two of his team's six tries, while Adam Reynolds finished with 18 points from a try and seven goals, as the Bunnies romped to a 38-6 victory in Wayne Bennett's first game against his former club. Bennett will be hoping for a triumphant return to his old stomping ground.