Magpies determined to return to winners circle

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.


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.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 James Tautaiolefua
    Fullback for Magpies is number 3 Watson Heleta
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Leigh Higgins
    Winger for Magpies is number 2 Harrison O'Toole
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Jacob Gagan
    Centre for Magpies is number 11 Sam McIntyre
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Levi Dodd
    Centre for Magpies is number 24 Mahe Fonua
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Dylan O'Connor
    Winger for Magpies is number 5 Kane Bradley
  • Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Bayley Sironen
    Five-Eighth for Magpies is number 6 Tyson Gamble
  • Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Dean Hawkins
    Halfback for Magpies is number 7 Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu

Forwards

  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tom Amone
    Prop for Magpies is number 8 Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu
  • Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Billy Brittain
    Hooker for Magpies is number 9 Braden Robson
  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Ky Rodwell
    Prop for Magpies is number 17 Oliver Clark
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Trent Peoples
    2nd Row for Magpies is number 15 Luke Garner
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jack Johns
    2nd Row for Magpies is number 12 Robbie Rochow
  • Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Keaon Koloamatangi
    Lock for Magpies is number 13 Elijah Taylor

Interchange

  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Tarquinn Butler
    Interchange for Magpies is number 14 Soni Luke
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Brock Gray
    Interchange for Magpies is number 18 Alex Seyfarth
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Matthew Jurd
    Interchange for Magpies is number 19 Bilal Maarbani
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 18 Joshua Cook
    Interchange for Magpies is number 21 Patrice Siolo