It’s an exciting time for Souths fans as the Rabbitohs are just one win away from a second Grand Final appearance in 7 years.
The Bunnies will meet the winner of the Sea Eagles v Roosters semi-final clash coming up at 7.50pm this Friday the 17th of September at BB Print Stadium South Mackay, Queensland.
As the mighty Rabbitohs enjoy the week off to prepare for the Prelim final we take a look at the two elimination semi-finals coming up & the path the Bunnies face to progress to the title game.
Sunny Mackay is 950km north of Brisbane, approximately half way between Rockhampton & Townsville, 150km south of Airlie Beach. It’s a long long way from either Brookvale or Bondi but that is what the teams face thanks to this dreaded global pandemic.
Manly will be desperate to bounce back from the 40-12 defeat they suffered to the Storm in week 1 of the finals while the Chooks will be hoping that they can continue to defy the odds after their 2021 squad has been decimated by injury.
The Sea Eagles welcome back hooker Lachlan Croker but the ‘Evil Empire’ will need to find another number 9 after Sam Verrills lost his bid to have his high tackle charge downgraded.
The only way Verrills will see more game time this year is if the Roosters beat Manly then Souths to make the Grand Final.
The Roosters get a boost with Nat Butcher making his return but that has been countered by yet another injury blow after Siosiua Taukeiaho was ruled out with a leg injury.
Souths fans will be hoping both teams hammer each other in a torrid extra time encounter to leave them even more vulnerable the following week.
Either way I’m confident we can beat whichever team we face.
Souths took care of Manly 26-12 back in March & have defeated the Roosters twice, the latest victory a 54-12 flogging. Bring them on!
The Panthers take on the Eels at 7.50pm on Saturday the 17th of September at the same venue in South Mackay.
The Eels welcome back Ryan Matterson while the Panthers will be bolstered by the return of Dylan Edwards, Moses Leota & Scott Sorensen.
The Eels come off a somewhat less than convincing elimination final win over the Knights while Ivan Cleary & his Panthers will attempt to pick up the pieces of a demoralising loss to the Rabbits.
Once this weeks semi finals are over both preliminary finals & the Grand Final will all be played at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
The Rabbitohs will take on the winner of the Manly v Roosters game at 7.50pm on Friday 24th of September. The grand final will be played at 7.30pm (AEDT) on Sunday the 3rd of October so if the Bunnies win they will have a 9 day break to prepare for the big one.
The Storm await the winner of the Eels v Panthers at 4pm on Saturday the 25th of September. The winner of that game gets an 8 day break going into the Grand Final.
The earlier kickoff than usual is to avoid a clash with the AFL Grand Final that starts at 7:15pm AEST in Perth on the same day.
The Melbourne v Western Bulldogs 2021 AFL Grand Final is the first AFL premiership-decider to be held in Perth and the second held outside of Victoria as a result of the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in recent seasons.
Daylight savings begins on the eve of the NRL Grand Final so kickoff Queensland local time will actually be at 6.30pm (7.30pm in Sydney) for this historic first ever decider outside of New South Wales.
If the games go to script then the Rabbitohs will meet the defending premiers the Melbourne Storm in the Grand Final.
The Storm have been awesome all year & have handed the Rabbitohs two of their four defeats in 2021.
The other two defeats for Souths were at the hands of the Panthers & the fact that we turned the tables on them last week gives me confidence that if we can defend like that again we can beat anyone.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs assignment has been set – win two more games of footy to make it a glorious premiership number 22. Yes Souths let’s do this.
By Steve Mavin