NRL Preview
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Parramatta Eels

Friday, May 26, 7:50pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney

The State of Origin period is here and both of these sides have come through unscathed, with neither side losing a player to Origin duty. The Eels have problems on the injury front though, with chief playmaker Corey Norman still out with a knee injury, and won’t be back until Round 17, while Nathan Brown (ribs) and Michael Jennings (leg) picked up injuries in last week’s loss to the Raiders.
The Rabbitohs have won 9 of the last 11 against the Eels, however the spoils were shared in 2016. The Rabbitohs won the Round 10 clash 22-20 at Parramatta Stadium, with Eels flyer Semi Radradra scoring a hat-trick in a beaten side. The Eels bounced back at ANZ Stadium in Round 15, defeating the Rabbitohs 30-12, with Bevan French crossing for a double and Radradra picking up another four-pointer. It’s worth noting that Souths halfback Adam Reynolds was unavailable for the Rabbitohs in last year’s loss to the Eels.
South Sydney are 13th on the ladder with a 4-7 record following their 14-6 loss to Melbourne in Perth in torrid conditions. Souths have won just 2 of their last 8 matches with both those wins coming against fellow bottom six teams. The Rabbitohs have been held to single digits in 5 of their last 8. Parramatta are 11th with a 5-6 record. After winning three straight, the Eels were embarrassed by the Sydney Roosters before losing a close one to Canberra. Parramatta have conceded 22-plus in 7 of their last 9.
Key Matchup
Adam Reynolds v Mitchell Moses. Both Reynolds and Moses will have a point to prove this weekend for different reasons and it sets up an intriguing matchup as a result. Reynolds was the NSW Origin halfback for Games 1 and 2 last year and has now lost his spot to Mitchell Pearce. Pearce has been given plenty of opportunities in the Origin without success. Reynolds will be playing with a chip on his shoulder and will be determined to remind Blues coach Laurie Daley of what he is capable of. He failed to finish the match against the Storm due to concussion, but is expected to take his spot in the side. Meanwhile, Moses had an unhappy debut for the Eels in the loss to the Raiders last week after his mid-season switch from the Tigers. The Raiders forwards targeted him in defence and you can bet that Sam Burgess and co. will be adopting similar tactics. With Corey Norman out for an extended period, Moses needs to take control of the side and needs to do it quickly.
Stats That Matter
South Sydney are 6-5 ATS with a 6-5 under record while Parramatta are 5-6 ATS with a 7-4 under number. The Rabbitohs have won 9 of the last 11 though the Eels won the last encounter 30-12, their biggest win against Souths since 2006. Six of the last seven matches have tallied over 40 points. Souths have covered just 6 of their last 18 at ANZ while Parramatta have covered 8 of their last 11. The under has hit in 12 of the last 16 Eels games at ANZ and 3 of the last 4 Souths games. The Rabbitohs have covered just 5 of their last 14 as a favourite at ANZ and just 1 of their last 4 as a favourite of under a converted try.
Final Thoughts
The Wolf is very cautious during the Origin period, but the Rabbitohs look the play here. The Eels are missing key personnel in Corey Norman and the in-form Nathan Brown has to be in doubt despite being named. They could also be without Michael Jennings if he can’t overcome a leg injury. As pointed out, the Rabbitohs have the wood over the Eels in recent years and it will be the class of Reynolds and Cody Walker which gets the Bunnies home in a tight one.
How It’s Shaping Up
South Sydney by 2
Best Bet
South Sydney ($1.75)

Other Recommended Bets
Under 40.5 ($1.88)

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