Wests Tigers will be looking to close out the 2018 in style by claiming another giant scalp this Thursday night when they take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Having already trounced the Bunnies once this season — as they have so many of the top four sides — Ivan Cleary's men will be determined to ensure the progress they've made in 2018 doesn't go unnoticed by capping off their season with a winning record and a victory over the premiership hopeful Rabbitohs.
Not since 2011 have Wests Tigers ended the year with a winning record, but with 12 wins and 11 losses coming in to Thursday night's game, they can end that streak with their 13th win in their season finale.
Should they achieve that, incredibly, they'd be the first side since the 1999 Canberra Raiders to register 13 wins and not make the finals, after wins to the Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors last weekend confirmed Wests Tigers would fall agonisingly short of the top eight with a ninth-placed finish.
With nothing to lose, as such, and boosted by the mid-week news that both Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall will play on in 2019, Wests Tigers certainly present a tricky opponent for a South Sydney side coming off a disappointing defeat to the Raiders last weekend and a tough run of form overall.
Cleary gives final word on Rabbitohs clash
Since beating the Melbourne Storm back in Round 21 that had many declare the cardinal and myrtle as competition favourites, Anthony Siebold's side have lost their last three games (albeit against tough opposition) and are in danger of missing the top four all together with a loss on Thursday night.
Souths have lost five of their last six games to Wests Tigers, and Ivan Cleary's side will certainly be out to spoil the party once again this week as they look to head in to 2019 with plenty of reasons to be confident.
Date — Thursday, August 30, 2018
Time — 7:50pm AEST
Venue — ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — FOX League (Ch.502) and Channel 9
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 2GB 873, FM 104.9 Triple M Sydney
Live Stream — Foxtel Go, 9Now, NRL Digital Pass, Watch NRL Streaming (exc. Australia)
LATEST BETEASY ODDS
H2H — South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.36), Wests Tigers ($3.25)
Line — South Sydney Rabbitohs -8.5 ($1.92), Wests Tigers +8.5 ($1.92)
One More Year?
Match: Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers
Round 25 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Alex JohnstonFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses Mbye
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Campbell GrahamWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Greg InglisCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Esan Marsters
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Dane GagaiCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Mahe Fonua
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Robert JenningsWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Kevin Naiqama
Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody WalkerFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam ReynoldsHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Thomas BurgessProp for Wests Tigers is number 17 Josh Aloiai
Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien CookHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 George BurgessProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Ben Matulino
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 John Sutton2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Chris Lawrence
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Angus Crichton2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Michael Chee-Kam
Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Sam BurgessLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Elijah Taylor
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Hymel HuntInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 8 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Cameron MurrayInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Alex Twal
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Jason ClarkInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Sauaso Sue
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Dean BrittInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Jacob Liddle
Josh Aloiai starts at prop in place of Matt Eisenhuth, who drops back to the bench alongside Jacob Liddle, who replaces Robbie Rochow. South Sydney are unchanged and will line up 1-17.
Overall — Played 31, South Sydney Rabbitohs 16, Wests Tigers 15
At ANZ Stadium — Played 16, Wests Tigers 9, South Sydney Rabbitohs 7
Last Time They Met — Wests Tigers 22 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 (Rd.19, 2018)
Match Referees — Ashley Klein and Adam Gee
Touch Judges — Belinda Sleeman and Chris Sutton
Review Officials — Ben Galea and Steve Chiddy
NRL.com preview Rabbitohs clash