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Pregame Notes: Round 6 v Rabbitohs

Few matches raise similar passions nor evoke such vivid images of past dramas and controversies as the yearly Good Friday clash between the Dogs and the Bunnies at Homebush. 

It always produces something and will do so again this week, with the players cognisant of the symbolic meaning of the occasion and the value of a win against an old foe.

This will be tenth edition of what has now become one of the most anticipated fixtures on the calendar and Souths enter it with victories in the last two; a tight 14-6 win in 2019, and a 38 to nil victory last season.

Canterbury will be determined to ensure that this edition is no repeat performance.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Blake Taaffe
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Matt Dufty
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Brent Naden
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Taane Milne
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Braidon Burns
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Campbell Graham
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Jake Averillo
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Josh Mansour
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Matt Burton
  • Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Lachlan Ilias
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan

Forwards

  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita Tatola
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Luke Thompson
  • Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas Burgess
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jai Arrow
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 15 Chris Patolo
  • Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Josh Jackson

Interchange

  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Hame Sele
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Brandon Wakeham
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Jacob Host
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Max King
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Liam Knight
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Joe Stimson
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 19 Isaiah Tass
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 23 Ava Seumanufagai

Reserves

  • Replacement for Rabbitohs is number 18 Siliva Havili
    Replacement for Bulldogs is number 25 Corey Allan

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

The Bunnies have suffered a major blow with the loss of Latrell Mitchell for an extended period and he joins Mark Nicholls on the sidelines. The Bulldogs have enjoyed a decent run of relative injury free play across the opening five rounds, with Jack Hetherington the lone loss and coach Trent Barrett is once again able to name an unchanged starting side for the clash with Souths.

A lot was made of Kyle Flanagan’s return against Penrith, yet he had a solid game that included good ball distribution and a kick that created the first try.

Just 40 per cent of overall possession saw the Bulldogs on the back foot, yet statistically, there were some positives in other areas. Canterbury far exceeded the Panthers in post-contact metres, closely matched the Premiers in tackles broken and improved their play-the-ball speed which has been an area that all teams continually look to improve.

Defensively, an 89 per cent tackle efficiency continued the improvement fans have noted from last season and the team was forced to complete a mountain of defensive work.

Souths enter this clash with decent form, with two wins from their last three, while Canterbury showed a few attacking glimpses that, with improved ball control, suggest the combinations and structures being implemented are beginning to come together. The Bulldogs fans will be hoping that this is the week where things really begin to click and the sight of Josh Addo-Carr in open space last week has whetted the appetite of patient fans keen to begin their Easter weekend with a win over such an historic rival.

Key match-up

Whilst the two sets of forwards appear certain to clash ferociously in the middle of the park, the afternoon time-slot, fine weather and perfect conditions set down for Friday, could well see some of the most expansive football the Bulldogs have participated in all season. That would give the likes of Addo-Carr, Brent Naden and full-back Matt Dufty the opportunity to express themselves, something the weather has denied them on different occasions this season.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.