Match Preview: Raiders v Rabbitohs
Despite South Sydney having lost their last seven games, the Raiders will not be taking the 2014 Premiers lightly on Sunday at ANZ Stadium.
With matches against the first placed Sharks and second-placed Storm following Sunday’s clash, Raiders forward Joe Tapine insists the team isn’t looking too far ahead.
“I always say there isn’t an easy NRL game so you’ve got to take every NRL game seriously,” said Tapine.
“They’ve got a big forward pack – the Burgess brothers and a couple of the boys that come off the bench – they’re big boys, and we’ll definitely have to do a big job against them.”
Raiders’ captain, Jarrod Croker echoed his teammate when asked about the Rabbitohs.
“Their big boys them Burgess fellas and they’re playing some good footy. They played themselves into some good form in the back half of the game on Monday night (against Manly) I thought. I thought Sam (Burgess) was outstanding for them," said Croker.
"Look, they’re going to be hard to stop [but] our big boys are going well, and it’s going to be a big challenge up there at the front. If those boys can handle them, then I’m pretty confident.”
Coming off the back of four straight wins, Croker was pleased with the progress of the side.
“The good thing is that we don’t have to change a lot, we just need to keep working hard. I’ve said it a few times before but we just need to keep getting better at the little things and keep improving them each week, and I think we have been,” said Croker.
The Rabbitohs are languishing near the bottom of the NRL table, however they did show glimpses of their best in a second-half comeback against Manly on Monday night.
Ricky Stuart has stuck with the same 17 that defeated the Warriors in golden point meaning Adam Clydsdale retains his place on the bench as a utility.
Souths, on the other hand, have named seven players on an extended bench. English winger, Joe Burgess, drops out of the 17 and is replaced by Michael Oldfield. Damien Cook, Jack Gosiewiski and Zane Musgrove all enter the side. Tom Burgess is named, but the Englishman will miss the match due to suspension.
Highlights from the last time the Raiders met the Rabbitohs - in Round 8 2015, at Barlow Park in Cairns.