The Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the 2016 season in round three and will be looking to bounce back against the Rabbitohs on Good Friday.
Ahead of the clash with the a2014 premiers, bulldogs.com.au takes a look at six questions yet to be answered ahead of the clash with the Eels.
1. Will Sam Burgess play?
After being taken from the field in a neck-brace on Sunday and taken straight to hospital, Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess was cleared of serious neck and spinal injury following scans conducted at St Vincent’s hospital. But with five days to be ready for the Good Friday clash, will Sam be fit to play or will he be on the sideline?
2. What impact will the judiciary play?
Rabbitohs forwards Paul Carter and Kirisome Auva’a were charged by the Match Review committee following their loss to the Dragons. Carter has been charged with grade 2 dangerous contact and with an early guilty plea - will miss one match, but if he unsuccessfully fights the charge and is found guilty, he would two matches. Carter will play this Friday against the Bulldogs should he successfully fight the charge. Meanwhile Kirisome Auva'a has escaped suspension with an early guilty plea.
3. Who will come out on top?
The Bulldogs and Rabbitohs both come into Round 4 with losses from the previous round. The Bulldogs failed to fire against an impressive Eels outfit after early season wins against the Sea eagles and Panthers. While the Rabbitohs failed to cope with the wet and soggy conditions in round three to be defeated by the Dragons. Both teams come into this blockbuster knowing it’s a big occasion and will be a physical encounter. The question is, who will come out on top?
4. What impact will the Milestones have?
The Bulldogs come into the round 4 blockbuster with Josh Morris and Josh Reynolds set to play their 200th and 100th NRL matches. Morris arrived at the club in 2009 and has quickly become one of the premier centres in the game, while Reynolds who has experienced the ups and downs in his short career has been a wonderful servant for the club. Not only is the game itself a big one, but celebrating player milestones adds provides extra motivation to get the win. Will these milestones offer the club an extra boost of motivation?
5. Will the short turnaround hurt the Rabbitohs?
The Rabbitohs will head into the Good Friday clash with the Bulldogs off a five day turn around. There has been much debate about the number of days from one game to another and after four teams have had the short preparation in the opening rounds, the question to be answered is – will the short turnaround effect the Rabbitohs, because three of the four teams who have had five day turn arounds, have lost.
6. What will Good Friday 2016 deliver?
The Bulldogs have won only one of the past four Good Friday clashes, the average margin between the two sides is 4.25 and the average crowd number is 42,671. What will this year’s match bring?