Western Suburbs Magpies will be determined to bounce back in to the winners circle when they face off against South Sydney in their Round 11 Canterbury Cup clash this Sunday.
After a promising start to the season, Brett Hodgson's side have found the going tough lately and were somewhat fortunate to walk away with even a point from last week's draw with the Bulldogs after crossing for a converted try in the final minute.
Despite fielding very strong sides in the past two matches, Wests have come up winless against the North Sydney Bears and now Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, and have won just two matches since blowing the competition away in the first two weeks of the season — where they led the league in both attack and defence.
Defensively, the Magpies have been able to hold strong with just over 16 points conceded on average in their last five games but it's been their attack that has stalled. The side have broken the fewest number of tackles of any side in the competition despite making the most runs per game of any side, and it's that area that they'll no doubt be looking to improve on as they face the Rabbitohs.
South Sydney similarly begun the season in good form but have also struggled with inconsistencies in recent weeks. The Rabbitohs are on the wrong end of a three-game losing streak — including two two-point heartbreaks — and will certainly be desperate to end that run at home this week, where they remain undefeated.
2019 Match Highlights: Canterbury Cup Round 10
In terms of team news, Hodgson has named a strong squad for Sunday's game with a number of the club's NRL squad members included. Sam McIntyre, Tyson Gamble and Robbie Rochow were already listed to play for the Magpies, but the visitors have been boosted further by a number of late inclusions for today's game.
With Dylan Smith (ankle) out injured, Watson Heleta makes a timely return from a hamstring injury to fill in at fullback while Mahe Fonua plays his first Canterbury Cup game of the year in the centres. McIntyre will show his versatility by slotting in to the centres with Luke Garner and Robbie Rochow named in the back row.
Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu starts in the front row alongside Oliver Clark while Elijah Taylor starts at lock to cap off an experienced forward pack for the Magpies today.
Coverage of today's game begins on 9GEM from 1:00pm AEST.
Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 James TautaiolefuaFullback for Magpies is number 3 Watson Heleta
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Leigh HigginsWinger for Magpies is number 2 Harrison O'Toole
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Jacob GaganCentre for Magpies is number 11 Sam McIntyre
Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Levi DoddCentre for Magpies is number 24 Mahe Fonua
Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Dylan O'ConnorWinger for Magpies is number 5 Kane Bradley
Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Bayley SironenFive-Eighth for Magpies is number 6 Tyson Gamble
Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Dean HawkinsHalfback for Magpies is number 7 Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tom AmoneProp for Magpies is number 8 Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu
Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Billy BrittainHooker for Magpies is number 9 Braden Robson
Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Ky RodwellProp for Magpies is number 17 Oliver Clark
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Trent Peoples2nd Row for Magpies is number 12 Robbie Rochow
2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jack Johns2nd Row for Magpies is number 15 Luke Garner
Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Keaon KoloamatangiLock for Magpies is number 13 Elijah Taylor
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Tarquinn ButlerInterchange for Magpies is number 14 Soni Luke
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Brock GrayInterchange for Magpies is number 18 Alex Seyfarth
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Matthew JurdInterchange for Magpies is number 19 Bilal Maarbani
Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 18 Joshua CookInterchange for Magpies is number 21 Patrice Siolo
- Referee: Darian Furner
- Referee: Martin Jones
- Touch Judge: Mitchell Stone
- Touch Judge: Adam Reid