Wests Tigers will be looking to head in to their Round 12 bye with a crucial two points in hand as they face the top-of-the-table South Sydney Rabbitohs this Saturday at ANZ Stadium.
After a heartbreaking last-minute defeat to the Melbourne Storm last week, Wests Tigers will be keen to ensure their win-loss-win-loss run continues this week as they face a Rabbitohs side who have only suffered one defeat so far this season.
Under the tutelage of Coach Wayne Bennett, the cardinal and myrtle have been in rich form to start 2019 with a slew of players understandably in the discussion for State of Origin selection. With Saturday's game the final fixture before teams get announced on Sunday night, the likes of Damien Cook, Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds will all no doubt be keen to impress and try to secure their Origin spots.
Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire has opted for a change in his back five for the first time since Round 1 with Paul Momirovski starting in the centres in place of Mahe Fonua. Momirovski made his club debut in Wests Tigers win over the Sea Eagles to start the year but has primarily featured for the club's Canterbury Cup side, Western Suburbs Magpies, since that game.
Wests Tigers are otherwise unchanged following their good performance against the Storm and looking to continue their good recent form against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, having won five of the last seven matchups between the two.
NRL.com preview Rabbitohs clash
With his 228th appearance for Wests Tigers this week, Benji Marshall will pass Chris Lawrence (currently 227) to move to second all-time in matches played for the club, with the Premiership Winner only behind Robbie Farah (currently 266 games).
In total, Marshall has played 294 career matches and is closing in on the elusive 300-game club along with Farah, who has played a total of 292 career games.
For the high-flying Rabbitohs, Bennett has opted for an unchanged side following their Round 10 win over the Canberra Raiders with versatile forward Ethan Lowe again listed in the centres after his late inclusion there last week.
With Kyle Turner (toe), Braidon Burns (foot/hamstring) and Alex Johnston (knee) all sidelined, Lowe has been named to start in the centres with Jacob Gagan in the reserves. Corey Allan retains his fullback spot after featuring there last week, with Bayley Sironen the other reserve retained in the updated 19-man squad.
Wests Tigers had a impressive 22-6 upset win over South Sydney in their first meeting last year, but suffered a heavy 51-10 defeat to the Rabbitohs in the final game of 2018 and will be keen to ensure they put that behind them this weekend.
Maguire gives final word on Rabbitohs clash
Date — Saturday, May 25, 2019
Time — 7:35pm AEDT
Venue — ANZ Stadium, Sydney
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — Live via FOX League (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB
Live Stream — Foxtel Go, KAYO, NRL Digital Pass and Watch NRL (int.)
LATEST TEAM NEWS
Rabbitohs: No changes to the team that claimed victory last weekend with Ethan Lowe named as the starting centre after being elevated from the bench last week.
Wests Tigers: Paul Momirovski comes in at centre in place of Mahe Fonua.
Match: Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers
Round 11 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Corey AllanFullback for Wests Tigers is number 5 Corey Thompson
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Mawene HirotiWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Robert Jennings
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Ethan LoweCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Paul Momirovski
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Dane GagaiCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan Marsters
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Campbell GrahamWinger for Wests Tigers is number 18 David Nofoaluma
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 10 Thomas BurgessProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 Ben Matulino
Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien CookHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 14 Tevita TatolaProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 John Sutton2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Ryan Matterson
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Sam Burgess2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Chris McQueen
Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron MurrayLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 8 George BurgessInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Jacob Liddle
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Mark NichollsInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Dean BrittInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Josh Aloiai
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Liam KnightInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee-Kam
H2H — South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.35), Wests Tigers ($3.15),
Line — South Sydney Rabbitohs -8.5 ($2.00), Wests Tigers +12.5 ($1.80)
Odds correct on Thursday, May 23 — 18+ only and gamble responsibly
Overall — Played 32, Rabbitohs 17, Wests Tigers 15
At ANZ Stadium — Played 18, Rabbitohs 10, Wests Tigers 8
Last Time They Met — South Sydney Rabbitohs 51 def. Wests Tigers 10 (R25, 2018)
Match Referees — Gerard Sutton and Liam Kennedy
Touch Judges — Kasey Badger and Clayton Sharpe
Review Officials — Bryan Norrie and Jared Maxwell