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The Wests Tigers are under enormous pressure to climb out of the very deep hole they dug for themselves in their 50-point capitulation to the Storm on the Gold Coast last round.

Michael Maguire's men were behind 60-0, coming hot on the heels of conceding 40 points to the Eels, before they were able to respond with improved defence and three late tries.

The Wests Tigers coach will be looking improvement across the board. While more resilience and commitment in defence would be welcome, surer hands in attack are also vital because it was repeated errors that put Melbourne in prime point-scoring positions.

The joint-venture club has slipped to 14th on the ladder, four points outside the top eight, and is in desperate need of a change in momentum if the club is to make the finals for the first time since 2011.

Souths have put their two big losses to Melbourne and Penrith well behind them with a three-game win streak that has the Rabbitohs firmly ensconced in fourth place on the ladder.

The rundown

Team news

Wests Tigers: The Tigers are 1-17 with no late changes.

Coach Michael Maguire made just three changes to his 17 in the wake of last round's capitulation to Melbourne.

Adam Doueihi (head knock) makes his return to the centres in place of Tommy Talau, who drops out of the squad, while interchange forward Alex Seyfarth swaps places with starting lock Joe Ofahengaue and Thomas Mikaele earns a recall to the bench with Tom Amone being relegated to the reserves.

Shawn Blore (ankle) has been named on the interchange despite concerns about his availability.

Amone and Jake Simpkin were the first two players cut from the squad on Saturday. Fatalaiga Pauga was the last man cut one hour before kick-off and Michael Chee Kam is 18th man.

Wests Tigers five-eighth Moses Mbye will play his 150th NRL game.

Rabbitohs: The Rabbitohs are 1-17 with Jaydn Su'A the last man cut and Braidon Burns 18th man.

Benji Marshall (birth of child) returns in the No.14 jumper, with Blake Taaffe dropping to reserves, while Hame Sele is promoted from the interchange to take the place of starting prop Tevita Tatola (knee) and Liam Knight is the new forward on the bench.

The club's five Origin players - Latrell Mitchell, Dane Gagai, Damien Cook, Jai Arrow and Cameron Murray - got through Sunday night without injury and have been named to start.

Blake Taafe and Josh Mansour were omitted from the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off.

Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston has scored eight tries in his past three games.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
    Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 James Roberts
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Dane Gagai
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Adam Doueihi
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Campbell Graham
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Taane Milne
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Moses Mbye
    Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 James Tamou
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Mark Nicholls
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
    Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Hame Sele
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jai Arrow
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Alex Seyfarth
    Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Stefano Utoikamanu
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Benji Marshall
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Shawn Blore
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Liam Knight
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Thomas Mikaele
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Thomas Burgess
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Joe Ofahengaue
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Jacob Host

Reserves

  • Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 18 Michael Chee Kam
    Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 18 Braidon Burns

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
  • Touch Judge: Peter Gough
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

David Nofoaluma v Alex Johnston: The Wests Tigers winger has struggled to reprise his wonderful 2020 campaign. While his nine tries are nothing to be ashamed of, he sits eight four-pointers behind NRL leader Johnston and has another eight wingers ranked ahead of him on the try-scoring list. His Rabbitohs rival, in contrast, just cannot stop scoring tries. He has two hat-tricks and a double in his past three outings and is closing in on his fourth season of 20-plus tries. His defence also outshines Nofoaluma with just seven missed tackles to 19. 

Stat attack

The Rabbitohs lead the NRL in intercepts with eight but have only one player, Cody Walker (two), who has snagged more than one. The top individual for intercepts is Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans, who has snared four of second-ranked Manly's seven. 

 

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