NRL PreviewSouth Sydney Rabbitohs v New Zealand Warriors
Friday, August 18, 6pm (AEST) at ANZ Stadium, Sydney

The end of the season can’t come quick enough for both of these sides after disappointing 2017 campaigns. The Rabbitohs are limping their way through their remaining three fixtures, with their two best performers this season, Sam Burgess and Angus Crighton playing through injury. Meanwhile, the Warriors are completely rudderless without Shaun Johnson and continue to be perennial underachievers since their inception. Warriors five-eighth Kieran Foran missed last week’s loss to the Raiders with a shoulder injury and will be under an injury cloud this week.
HistoryThe Rabbitohs have won five straight against the Warriors including the last four by margins of 16 or greater.
FormSouth Sydney are up to 11th on the ladder with an 8-13 record following a 28-14 win over Canterbury. Souths have now won two straight. Souths rank 11th in scoring and 12th in defence. New Zealand are 12th on the ladder with a 7-14 record. They have lost six straight, the last five all by margins of 12 or more. The Warriors have conceded 24 or more in their last six.
Key MatchupAlex Johnston v Roger Tuivasa-Sheck: Johnston has been one of the few shining lights in a disappointing season for the Rabbitohs. He’s currently the leading tryscorer in the NRL with 19 tries and is coming off a double in last week’s win over the Bulldogs. He’s been crying out for an extended stint in his preferred position of fullback and is making every post a winner. Warriors fullback Tuivasa- Sheck hasn’t reached the lofty heights he achieved at the Roosters and has struggled in his comeback year off an ACL injury. However, the signs were better in last week’s match against the Raiders where he ran for 262 metres and scored a try. There’s no questioning his talent, but he’ll need a big bounce back year in 2018 if the Warriors are ever going to reach their potential.
Stats That Matter– South Sydney are 11-10 ATS with an 11-10 over record while New Zealand are 7-14 ATS with an 11-10 over number.
– Souths have won five straight against the Warriors including the last four by margins of 16 or greater.
– The last seven meetings have all topped 40.
– The Warriors have failed to cover five straight games since Shaun Johnson went down hurt.
– The Warriors have covered just 3 of their last 15 night games are are 15-29 ATS in night games since 2014.
– New Zealand cover at just 40% away from Mt Smart since 2014 and are 3-12 ATS in their last 15.
– Souths have covered 5 of their last 7 at ANZ.
– The Bunnies have won 5 of their last 7 at ANZ when favoured by more than a converted try.
Final ThoughtsKeep an eye on late team news here to see if Kieran Foran and Sam Burgess take their spots for their respective sides. The Rabbitohs are more settled in their spine and have a strong recent record over the Warriors. The Warriors struggle away from Mt Smart and can’t win without Johnson. They are next to no chance if Foran doesn’t play as well. The Bunnies to cover.
How It’s Shaping UpSouth Sydney by 12
Best Bet
South Sydney -8.5 ($1.91)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 44 ($1.88)

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