Can the Rabbitohs continue their strong finish to the season?
Although a spot in the finals is out of reach for Michael Maguire’s side that hasn’t meant they have thrown in the towel, far from it. They have now notched consecutive wins for just the third time this season and have been playing with renewed vigour.
Souths go into this off the back of a 28-14 win over Canterbury in Round 22.
New Zealand is another team that won’t be featuring in the semis this season but unlike Souths they appear to have given up and aren’t even playing for pride.
The Warriors have simply been going through the motions and were never really in the hunt last week when they dropped a 36-16 result to Canberra at home.
ON A WING AND A PRAYER
Two beneficiaries of the late season surge by SOUTHS are Alex Johnston and Bryson Goodwin.
The pair have been on the scoresheet in both recent wins while Johnston is in a race to be crowned the NRL’s leading tryscorer and has registered in three straight matches coming into this.
Johnson has a league-leading 19 tries for the season while the form of departing winger Bryson Goodwin has many fans wondering just why the management out at Redfern are allowing him to leave. Goodwin produced a few vital plays that helped the bunnies knock off the Dragons while he continually caused havoc against the Bulldogs last week.
Goodwin has nine tries for the Rabbitohs and last week was first tryscorer. He is $10 @ bet365 to do it again here.
NO WORRYING HERE
The NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS aren’t intimidating anyone these days and it probably explains the six straight losses they are currently experiencing.
Stephen Kearney’s side hasn’t won since going back-to-back against the Titans and Bulldogs in Rounds 14 & 16. Looking at that form now you can draw the conclusion that it cannot be trusted with both those sides the poorest performers over the past two months.
It appears as though the team has given up and aren’t even interested in saving face. Their past three defeats to Cronulla, Newcastle and Canberra have all been by 13 points or more.
What makes this trip to Homebush even worse is that they have only recorded the one win away win from 10 games, giving them the equal worst record on the road this season along with Newcastle and Canterbury.
Rabbitohs fans can get excited here.
SOUTHS are on one of their best runs against the Warriors since the Kiwis inception to the NRL back in 1995.
The Rabbits have now won five straight against them with the past four being by margins of 16 points or more. It seems as though the stars could be aligning for Souths with the Warriors not having the best record at ANZ Stadium either, dropping three straight there with the latest of those back in Round 13 against Parramatta.
We are all over SOUTHS here.
Bet365 have them @ $1.40 and although short for a team that has won just eight games all season, we think they are close to good things. Souths are starting to play some attractive footy off the back of halfback Adam Reynolds and the forwards led by Sam Burgess.
New Zealand has completely lost their way. At one point of the season they looked like serious semi-final contenders, however, as has been the case with them for a number of seasons they have once again disappointed fans and punters alike.
We haven’t seen a great deal of spark from the Kiwis over the past month and we don’t think they can lift sufficiently against a side that they have struggled against recently.
Take the Rabbitohs to win and Alex Johnston to open the scoring.
ALEX JOHNSTON FIRST TRYSCORER