Kick-Off: 7.30pm AEST
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Last Time: Round 18 2011, Eagles 36 Rabbitohs 22
Betting: $1.80 Rabbitohs, $2.05 Eagles
TV: Channel 9 (Live)
NRL Round 23
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium
Friday 10 August 2012, kickoff 7:45pm
Rabbitohs: Nathan Merritt, Justin Hunt, Matt King, Dylan Farrell, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Luke Burgess, Nathan Peats, Sam Burgess, Chris McQueen, Dave Taylor, Michael Crocker. Interchange: Jason Clark, Ben Lowe, Eddy Pettybourne, Issac Luke, Dave Tyrrell, Roy Asotasi
Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (c), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King (c), Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Tony Williams, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: Jamie Buhrer, Joe Galuvao, Vic Mauro, George Rose, Dean Whare, Tim Robinson
The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be looking for seven consecutive victories when they host the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in a rare match at Gosford’s Bluetongue Stadium in Round 23 National Rugby League action.
Souths are one of the form sides of the competition and will come up against a fired up Eagles side in Gosford on Friday night Football. The Rabbitohs continue to impress with their mix of flamboyant attack and bruising defence.
Will their brilliance be enough to sink the defending premiers?
In a mouth watering showdown, 2011 Rookie of the Year Daly Cherry-Evans faces his heir apparent in dynamic half-back Adam Reynolds.
Reynolds has been a sensation since debuting at the start of 2012 after taking over from Chris Sandow. The diminutive playmaker has taken plenty of pressure away from John Sutton who has been free to play his natural game. The results have been there for all to see.
But don’t count the Sea Eagles out of this contest just yet. They aren’t the premiers for nothing and continue to play tough and get results.
In the last two weeks, Geoff Toovey’s men have fought off both the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville and the New Zealand Warriors in Perth. They are starting to find some stability in their starting side and are reaping the benefits.
If the Rabbitohs think they’re going to have it easy in Gosford, they will be plenty sore and plenty sorry Saturday morning.
Issac Luke is a huge inclusion for the Rabbitohs but will apparently start the match from the bench. Don’t be surprised if he starts in place of Nathan Peats.
Roy Asotasi will play for the North Sydney Bears in the NSW Cup while Jason King and Steve Matai are expected to play for Manly. Dean Whare and Tim Robinson are likely to drop from the extended Manly bench.
Like all rugby league games, the battle needs to be won in the middle of the field first.
Its experience versus youth in a huge match on the Central Coast. In fact, every player in the Manly side besides Jorge Taufua has won a premiership.
Only Matt King and Michael Crocker have played in grand finals.
Perhaps this time, experience might count against the Rabbitohs.