Two massive preliminary finals in the NRL get underway on Friday night this week with the Rabbitohs taking on the Sea Eagles from Suncorp Stadium! Billy Bestford has you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the prelim below.
If you'd prefer to digest your previews in podcast form, then tune in to the latest edition of the Before You Bet podcast! Scooby is back with his preview for this weekend's NRL finals action!
NRL Rabbitohs vs Sea Eagles Betting Tips
Preliminary Final, Suncorp Stadium, Friday 7.50pm (AEST)
We are down to the final four teams of the season and we see a blockbuster clash between two of the competition’s heavyweights this Friday Night. The Rabbitohs will take on the Sea Eagles in what looks set to be a thriller with both teams looking to become the first to book their spot into the big dance. Des Hasler and Wayne Bennett have named unchanged teams for this one and all signs point to a pretty even match across the park.
The Rabbitohs come into this recharged and refreshed following a shock upset defeat against the Panthers. Their defence was incredible that night and it allowed for their usual potent attack to do the rest. The Bunnies have piled on the points against everyone this season, becoming the first side to score 30+ points in eight consecutive games. Tonight they’ll be relying on the gun halves pairing of Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker to continue their strong form, as they go in search of a place in the Grand Final. The Rabbitohs should have a slight advantage with the week off and will take plenty of confidence out of the win over the Panthers a fortnight ago. They’ll have a slight psychological advantage over their opponents here as well, defeating them in their lone meeting earlier this season 26-12.
Young fullback Blake Taaffe will go up against arguably the best number one in our game at the moment in Tommy Turbo and I think the battle of the 1’s could be crucial to the outcome. Taffee managed to compose himself following some early errors against Penrith and did well to make an impact for the Bunnies. It’s not so much what Taaffe can do for the Rabbitohs but more so if he can do his job without too many errors, his teammates will do the rest. Trbojevic is just another level this season as he continues his stellar year and looks a shoe-in to win the Dally M. He backed up his ridiculous run of form with a double against the Roosters and made experienced players in that side look like rookie defenders. He is an incredibly important cog in the wheel that is the Manly Sea Eagles and if the Bunnies can’t find a way to shut him down then it could be game over.
Manly will fancy their chances against the Rabbitohs tonight and they come into this match in flying form. They finished the year on an incredible run and they absolutely towelled up the Roosters last week. Foran and DCE are running the show while I’ve already mentioned the importance of Turbo. The Sea Eagles have formed one of the best ‘back threes’ in the game this season with Jason Saab and Rueben Garrick combining for an incredible 47 tries. Throw in Trbojevic’s 27 tries and it’s the best tryscoring season from a back three we have ever seen. That is the kind of firepower which makes the Sea Eagles so dangerous and if the Rabbitohs can’t shut down the middle, it will be too hard for them to stop the wide men doing their thing off the back of momentum.
I think the Sea Eagles can spring an upset here and while they haven’t had the week off, they will be riding a wave of momentum into this match. Expecting their attack to be too strong against the Bunnies who may have played their grand final the other week against Penrith. Whatever the outcome, we are in for an absolute cracker.