The Toyota Forklift Raiders will take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Saturday as both teams look to bounce back from losses last weekend.
Taking place at Accor Stadium in Sydney, both sides are without some of their stars due to Origin commitments, with the game kicking off at 7:35pm on Saturday night.
After going down to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles last weekend to snap their five-game winning streak, the Raiders will be desperate to return to their winning ways immediately against a strong Rabbitohs team.
The Rabbitohs also went down in disappointing fashion, dropping off the top of the ladder after a loss to the Parramatta Eels and ending their six-game winning streak.
Fixing up their discipline and simple errors will be high on the agenda for Ricky Stuart as they look to take down a Rabbitohs outfit that has won eight games so far this season.
The Raiders have a good record against the Rabbitohs in recent years, winning three of their past five games against them.
The Green Machine will be without Hudson Young after he was called up to make his Origin debut for the NSW Blues. Elliott Whitehead is also out due to suspension/injury, replaced by Corey Harawira-Naera on the edge.
The Raiders retain stars Josh Papali’i and Jack Wighton for the Origin period as both players announced their retirement for representative duties this year.
Corey Horsburgh shifts to the second row with Joseph Tapine filling the vacant lock position.
Pasami Saulo will start at prop alongside Josh Papali’i, with Tom Starling, Emre Guler, Nick Cotric and Ata Mariota all occupying the bench.
Losing Latrell Mitchell, Jai Arrow and Cameron Murray to their respective Origin duties, the Rabbitohs will have to rely on Blake Taaffe at fullback alongside Liam Knight and Jacob Host in the forward pack.
Match: Rabbitohs v Raiders
Round 13 -
Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Blake TaaffeFullback for Raiders is number 1 Sebastian Kris
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex JohnstonWinger for Raiders is number 2 Albert Hopoate
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Isaiah TassCentre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 14 Jed CartwrightCentre for Raiders is number 4 Matthew Timoko
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Taane MilneWinger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody WalkerFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Lachlan IliasHalfback for Raiders is number 7 Jamal Fogarty
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita TatolaProp for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papali'i
Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien CookHooker for Raiders is number 9 Zac Woolford
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Hame SeleProp for Raiders is number 10 Pasami Saulo
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jacob Host2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Corey Harawira-Naera
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 21 Keaon Koloamatangi2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Corey Horsburgh
Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Liam KnightLock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph Tapine
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 11 Michael Chee KamInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Tallis DuncanInterchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre Guler
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Shaquai MitchellInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Nick Cotric
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Daniel Suluka-FifitaInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Ata Mariota
Replacement for Rabbitohs is number 18 Richard KennarReplacement for Raiders is number 18 Hohepa Puru
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Senior Review Official: Adam Gee
Last Time They Met
The Raiders defeated the Rabbitohs 32-12 in their Round 11 clash last year at Apex Oval, Dubbo.
Matt Timoko v Campbell Graham
Matt Timoko has been one of the standout players for the Raiders this year, making his presence known in the big moments.
Scoring four tries and four try assists in 11 games this year, Timoko’s drive and almost unstoppable attitude has allowed him to hit another level to his game.
His ability to impose himself on every opposition that stands in his way, Timoko has accrued 51 tackle breaks so far this season and an average of 161 metres gained.
Campbell Graham is arguably in career-best form this season, having scored 12 tries in 12 games along with three try assists.
Along with his attacking prowess, his defensive capabilities have proved to be one of the best in his position.
Both players have the ability to turn the game on its head, making them dangerous threats to both teams.
Josh Papalii v Tevita Tatola
Seasoned veteran Josh Papali’i has been among one of the best forwards in the competition playing over 270 NRL games so far.
Having recently retired from Origin, Papali’i had a stellar representative career playing 23 games for the Queensland Maroons and winning five series with the team.
His effectiveness in defence is crucial to the Raiders territorial success, only missing four tackles all season.
Opposite him is consistent front-rower Tevita Tatola who is playing his sixth season in the top flight since making his debut in 2018.
Tatola’s all rounded performances are what makes him a reliable forward for the Rabbitohs, averaging over 109 metres per game.
Albert Hopoate v Alex Johnston
Albert Hopoate’s effort and intent for the jersey are qualities that make him a Raider through and through.
The 22-year-old has only missed two games this season, forcing 35 tackle breaks and averaging 158 metres per game this season.
‘Hoppa’ has proven his determination to win, doing everything in his power to get the team over the line.
Alex Johnston is one of the league’s most prolific try scorers scoring 170 tries in his 10-season career so far.
His eye for the line is one to be commended on, being the first player in history to score 30 tries in consecutive seasons.
Head to Head
Having faced off against each other 31 times, the Raiders lead the count winning 17 of their encounters.