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Penrith Panthers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs Tips - 1st Try to come after 8 minutes
- Round 23 game set at Suncorp Stadium on Friday
- The two teams are tied in second place in the ladder with 38 points each
- The Panthers are coming off back-to-back wins
- The Rabbitohs have won their last 10 games
- The Panthers preyed on the Rabbitohs 56-12 in Round 11
- The Bunnies have not lost since their Round 11 loss to the Panthers
The Panthers and Rabbitohs fight for solo second place in the ladder. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
The Penrith Panthers never looked like losing to the Dragons while running out 34-16 winners last week.
However, they never looked quite like themselves either with Nathan Cleary returning from a lengthy layoff. It was business as usual for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, though. They did it easy to beat the Titans 36-6.
Api Koroisau has served his suspension and returns for the Panthers this week. Kurt Capewell is also confirmed on the bench while James Fisher-Harris and Tevita Pangai Jr lurk in the reserves. The Rabbitohs backline is at its best this week with Dane Gagai, Alex Johnston and Campbell Graham all back on deck.
It feels as though predicting a possible game of the season puts a jinx on the 80 minutes, but…this is a possible game of the season. The Panthers have slipped slightly while playing without Cleary and will be eager to right a few wrongs of the last few weeks.
Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs have barely put a foot wrong over the last two months. Their winning streak isn’t the longest in the NRL, but there is an argument that they’re the form side of the competition. This game – and South Sydney’s premiership credentials – will be defined by defence.
Penrith have been historically good without the ball this year while South Sydney have conceded 50 points twice. Both can pile up points in a hurry. However, this game has a finals feel to it.
21 January 2022
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