South Sydney Rabbitohs v St George Illawarra Dragons Sunday, May 13, 2pm (AEST) ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The Rabbitohs came home with a wet sail in their Round 5 clash against the Dragons, but fell short by 16-12 due to a few crucial errors by Cody Walker at critical times. Souths will welcome back Sam Burgess from yet another suspension and will be hoping he can tread a fine line and avoid another date with the judiciary. Meanwhile, the Dragons showed everyone that they’re the real deal after handing the Storm a 20-point loss last week. Injuries have been kind to the Red V this year and they’ll name an unchanged side other than exciting youngster Zac Lomax coming onto the bench.
FormSouth Sydney have moved to fifth on the ladder with five wins in their last seven games. They have averaged 31ppg in their last four matches. The Rabbitohs rank third in scoring while they rate seventh in defence. Souths have conceded more than 18 just twice this year. St George Illawarra have set the standard this year with an 8-1 record, the top attack and the top defence. They enter this off a whipping of Melbourne, a 34-14 home victory. The Saints are averaging a win of 15.5ppg this year. The Dragons have not conceded more than 20 in a game this year.
Key MatchupSam Burgess v Dragons Forward Pack: Sam Burgess owes plenty to his Rabbitohs teammates after already serving two separate suspensions this season. Anthony Seibold and his Rabbitohs teammates will still want him to be aggressive, but not cross the line. He’s an infectious player and his presence will lift the rest of the Rabbitohs pack. The Dragons forward pack could be decimated throughout the Origin period, with Paul Vaughan, Cameron McInnes, Tyson Frizell, Tariq Sims and Jack de Belin all in contention. Each player will want another strong performance here to cement their spot in Brad Fittler’s side for Origin 1.
Stats That Matter– South Sydney are 7-2 ATS with a 5-4 over record, having gone over in four straight. – St George Illawarra are 7-2 ATS with a 5-4 under record. – Souths have won 9 of the last 12 against St George Illawarra with the three losses all coming by four points or fewer. – The teams met in Round 5 this year with the Saints victorious 16-12. – Six of the last eight games have failed to break 40 points. – Souths are 16-22 ATS with a 21-17 under record at ANZ but have covered 4 of their last 5. – As an underdog, they have covered their last three at ANZ and eight straight overall. – Souths have covered four straight and eight of their last 11 day games. – The Dragons have covered 6 of their last 7 day games. – The Saints are 2-7 ATS in day games at ANZ since 2015 while they are 5-9 ATS overall at the ground over that span. – The Dragons 35-17 under away from Kogarah/Wollongong since 2015 while they are 6-11 ATS with a 10-7 under record as a favourite. – The Dragons have covered just 4 of their last 12 road games after scoring 30 or more points.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf can smell an upset on the cards! The Dragons have had to lift for two big matches in the ANZAC Day clash against the Roosters and last’s week’s match at Kogarah against the Storm. Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs arguably could have won the match between these sides back in Round 5 and could catch the Dragons at a good time. The return of Sam Burgess, if he stays on the field, only boosts their chances of an upset. Glory, glory!
How It’s Shaping UpSouth Sydney by 2
Recommended BetsBest: South Sydney +5.5 ($1.91) Value: South Sydney ($2.60) First Tryscorer: Cody Walker ($17)