Thu, May 2, 9:28am by Rob Sheeley
Match: Brisbane Broncos vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL Round 8)
When/Where: 7:35pm Friday, 3 May 2013 at Suncorp Stadium
Best NRL Online Bookie: www.Centrebet.com
The Broncos continued on their run of solid form by disposing of an injury plagued Tigers outfit last Saturday night. They have now strung together three wins on end and look to be much more positive than they were in early rounds.
The Broncos currently sit in sixth position with four wins from their seven matches. Bookmakers are keeping the Brisbane boys safe at $15 in premiership markets.
The Rabbitohs are backing up after their most bruising affair in the NRL this season. The South Sydney side were met with some tough and uncompromising play from Manly last week (be it fair or foul) and would have needed a good day or two to get over the effects of it.
That said, the Rabbitohs again reminded us that they are the real deal by defeating the Sea Eagles in reasonably convincing fashion. Half back Adam Reynolds again showed he is a super star in the making whilst Greg Inglis showed he already was one. They remain $5 second favourites for this year’s title.
The Broncos/Rabbitohs odds listed below are current as of Thursday morning at 9:20am. For the latest odds, visit Centrebet.com.
Head to Head
Broncos – $2.40
Rabbitohs – $1.60
Broncos 1-12 – $4.05
Broncos 13+ – $5.15
Rabbitohs 1-12 – $3.10
Rabbitohs 13+ – $3.10
Broncos +4.5 – $1.91
Rabbitohs -4.5 – $1.91
• Broncos have won 7 of their last 10 against the Rabbitohs.
• The sides have met 30 times. Broncos have won 22, Rabbitohs have won 7, 1 draw.
• The Broncos have lost 4 of their last 5 at Suncorp Stadium.
• Souths have lost 9 of their last 10 at Suncorp Stadium.
In what is a rare commodity in modern rugby league, Broncos coach Anthony Griffin has the luxury of naming an unchanged line up for this weeks game.
1. Corey Norman
2. Josh Hoffman
3. Jack Reed
4. Justin Hodges
5. Lachlan Maranta
6. Scott Prince
7. Peter Wallace
8. Ben Hannant
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Sam Thaiday (c)
11. Alex Glenn
12. Matt Gillett
13. Corey Parker
14. Ben Hunt
15. Scott Anderson
16. David Hala
17. Josh McGuire
In the last four rounds, the Broncos have gone from a team who lacked that killer instinct to possibly the most improved team in the NRL. Brisbane were being heavily criticised for their lack of creativity in attack. Their second half against the Storm in Round 4 contained the first signs that they were keen to debunk that notion.
In a second half blitz, the Broncos took the game right up to the premiership favourites and hit the front in the last fifteen minutes. They may not have won that game, but they would have taken enormous confidence from it.
They proved that it was no flash in the pan in Round 5 when they travelled to the Gold Coast and disposed of the Titans by 20 points (32-12).
In Round 6, they ground out a tough two point win against the Cowboys in a dour match. Last weekend they put an injury ravaged Tigers to the sword in methodical style 20-10.
The Broncos look to have a lot more self belief than ever since that brilliant half against Melbourne. It may prove to be the watershed moment that kick started the Brisbane team’s season.
The Rabbitohs coach Michael McGuire has named the same starting seventeen as Round 7. Jeff Lima and Justin Hunt have been named as eighteenth and nineteenth men respectively on an extended bench.
1. Greg Inglis
2. Nathan Merritt
3. Beau Champion
4. Bryson Goodwin
5. Andrew Everingham
6. John Sutton
7. Adam Reynolds
8. David Tyrrell
9. Issac Luke
10. Roy Asotasi
11. Chris McQueen
12. Ben Te’o
13. Sam Burgess
14. Nathan Peats
15. Jason Clark
16. Ben Lowe
17. George Burgess
18. Jeff Lima
19. Justin Hunt
Last weekend the Rabbitohs established themselves as clear cut second favourites for the 2013 title. They disposed of the Sea Eagles by eight points (20-12) in a torrid encounter which was unquestionably the toughest game this season.
In Round 6 they met the competition yard stick, the Melbourne Storm. They managed to stay in the contest but came up against the top team at their very best. In the end only seven points separated the Rabbitohs and the white hot reigning premiers.
In Round 5, the Rabbitohs managed to snare victory from the jaws of defeat against a tenacious Warriors outfit in New Zealand. South Sydney got home on the back of some Nathan Merritt brilliance. The main point is, despite looking beaten; they found a way to win against all odds.
Prior to that match they’d fought hard to secure wins against the Bulldogs and Panthers. Both of those games may have held some anxious moments for South Sydney but their ability to execute the big plays again shone through.
The Rabbitohs keep improving each match and may well be getting closer to Melbourne every week. This match will be no walkover as they take on an in form Broncos outfit.
Anytime that two of the NRL’s in form teams clash there is a good chance that the game can swing in the most minuscule of pendulums. The way that sides execute the “one percenters” is crucial. The game could hinge on one mistake, one decision or one error.
South Sydney have shown that they are as good as any side in the NRL (with the possible exception of the Storm). They have that classic blend of punishing mobile forwards and a back line that features some super stars.
The Rabbitohs feature a trademark that is often prevalent in quality teams; class players at fullback, half back and hooker. This is a key part of the match up here where the South Sydney team have a distinct edge.
Greg Inglis is among the best in the NRL in 2013, his devastating running is unrivalled. His propensity to score and create tries is freakish; he is a match winner in every sense of the word.
Adam Reynolds burst on the scene in 2012. He has proven that he is no flash in the pan and established himself as one of the top half backs in the league.
Isaac Luke is a deadly running hooker who will capitalise on any defensive lapse around the ruck. The three aforementioned Rabbitoh players are the cog that the South Sydney wheel revolves around and real keys in this match.
The Broncos first mission is to dominate in the forwards. They have a large pack led by Sam Thaiday and they must seize the momentum from South Sydney here as this could be the only way that they create opportunities for their back line, allowing players like the excitement machine, Josh Hoffmann, to get involved.
There is no doubting the Broncos form and continual improvement. They showed what they can do against the Storm. But I think the class factor lies with the Rabbitohs; they are building something special this season.
I think that they will get home on the back of Reynolds and Inglis in a game where the forward battle will be very evenly fought.
Rabbitohs by 7
The Rabbitohs are currently $1.60 with Centrebet in the head to head market, and that looks great value.
The Rabbitohs 1-12 at $3.10 also looks enticing.
The Six Point Margin category has South Sydney (7-12) at $5.75 which isn’t too bad.
The exact margin of the Rabbitohs by 7 is worth a sprinkle too at $26.
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