NRL Preview: Round 2

NRL Preview: Round 2

Round 2 represents a challenge for the red and blues. Despite last weekend’s result, there were positive signs against the Titans.

The debutants held their own, there were some slick plays from the outside backs and the forwards showed grunt in the middle.

For the Rabbitohs, they’ll be confident after scoring 42 points against the Roosters in round one.

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Date: Saturday March 12
Gates open: 3.10pm
Kick-off: 5.30pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports
 
HEAD-TO-HEAD

Played: 37
Knights: 25
Rabbitohs: 12
 
SQUADS

Newcastle

1. Jaelen Feeney, 2. Nathan Ross, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Pat Mata’utia, 5. Akuila Uate, 6. Jarrod Mullen, 7. Trent Hodkinson (c), 8. Sam Mataora, 9. Tyler Randell, 10. Korbin Sims, 11. Jacob Saifiti, 12. Robbie Rochow, 13. Jeremy Smith (c). Interchange: 14. Danny Levi, 15. David Bhana, 16. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 17. Daniel Saifiti, 18. Sione Mata’utia, 21. Kade Snowden.

South Sydney

1. Greg Inglis (c), 2. Alex Johnstone, 3. Bryson Goodwin, 4. Hymel Hunt, 5. Aaron Gray, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Luke Keary, 8. George Burgess, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. David Tyrell, 11. Paul Carter, 12. Kyle Turner, 13. Sam Burgess. Interchange: 14. Damien Cook, 15. Jason Clark, 16. Nathan Brown, 17. Chris Grevsmuhl, 18. Kirisome Auva’a.
 
TALKING POINTS
 
The debutants hold their positions

All five debutants from last week showed enough to hold their positions in Round 2.

The Saifitis demonstrated that they have the stamina and strength required for first grade, Jaelen Feeney was composed in torrential conditions, David Bhana brought handy utility value from the bench and Pat Mata’utia scored a try and was flawless with his tackle accuracy.

“I’m comfortable with all the young kids playing,” head coach Nathan Brown said in a press conference on Monday.

“Hopefully the older guys play consistently well to support them along the way.”

NRL Preview: Round 2

The return of White Lightning

Nathan Ross is penciled in to make his first start of the 2016 season, coming in for the injured Chanel Mata’utia.

After his first full-time pre-season, the effervescent utility back will be keen to get his chance in first grade.
His ability to make plenty of metres and force opponents into conceding penalties will be a big bonus for the Knights.

“Rossy’s definitely keen there’s no doubt about that,” Brown said on Monday.

“He was probably one of the guys last week that was a touch unlucky (to not get selected).”
 
The form of Korbin Sims

Korbin Sims started the 2016 season in red-hot form, stripping the ball from dummy-half in his first minute to set up a try.

From there he only got better, regularly testing the Titans’ line with his runs and breaking out of five tackles.

He was also named Players’ Player and rewarded with a spot in the starting line-up this week.

“If I can play like that week in, week out with improvements in my game, then I can go a long way to helping the Club forward,” he said on Wednesday.

NRL Preview: Round 2

The Rabbitohs’ new halves pairing

With Adam Reynolds injured, Luke Keary steps in to join Cody Walker in the halves.

It’s a new pairing that mirrors the budding combination between Jarrod Mullen and Trent Hodkinson.

But while Mullen and Hodkinson have played a combined 315 NRL games, Walker and Keary sit at 47.

It will be an intriguing battle between the two sets of halves on Saturday afternoon.
 
THE FINAL SAY

“We have a youthful side that’s always going to bring a lot of energy,” Dane Gagai told Knights TV on Wednesday.

“If we can work together as a team and all be on the same page, then we’ll be able to do well.”

 

 

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