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2021 NRL Round 9: Rabbitohs vs Storm Preview & Betting Tips

May 5th 2021, 3:39pm, By: Greg Davis

NRL Souths vs Storm Betting Tips

Round 9 of the 2021 NRL season kicks off on Thursday night with the South Sydney Rabbitohs taking on the Melbourne Storm in a massive clash! Greg Davis has you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the game below. 

NRL Rabbitohs vs Storm Betting Tips 

Stadium Australia, Thursday May 6th 7.50pm (AEST)

Souths

1.Alex Johnson 2.Steven Marsters 3.Dane Gagai 4. Braidon Burns 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Benji Marshall 8. Tom Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Tevita Tatola 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jai Arrow. Interchange: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Liam Knight 16. Jacob Host 17. Patrick Mago 18. Jed Cartwright 19.Hame Sele 20. Troy Dargan 21.Dean Hawkins

Melbourne

1.Nicho Hynes 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr  6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11.Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bronwich 13. Brandon Smith Interchange:14. Dale Finucane 15.Tui Kamikamica 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 18. Dean Ieremia 19. Chris Lewis 20. Ryley Jacks 21. Aaron Pene.

Match Preview

BLOCKBUSTER.

It’s more than a defunct chain of video stores.

It’s also a word that is grossly over-used in sporting circles when a match between two top teams looms large on the horizon.

Not this week. But only just.

Thursday night’s clash between legitimate premiership contenders Souths and Melbourne fits in the blockbuster category even with the Bunnies copping more than their fair share of injury blows to crucial players and the Storm’s Ryan Papenhuyzen still missing with a shoulder injury.

Both teams have been humming along very nicely in 2021 and you could envisage them facing off in the big dance at the end of the season.

The Bunnies have won their last seven matches with their only loss coming against the Storm in the season-opener at AAMI Park when Souths got well and truly “Papenhuyzened”.

Yes, it’s become a thing in the NRL to be “Papenhuyzened”. Just ask the Broncos.

With Papenhuyzen on fire early, Melbourne led 22-0 after 30 minutes before taking the foot off the pedal and hanging on for a 26-18 Round 1 win.

Papenhuyzen finished with two tries, five goals from six attempts, one try assist, 175 running metres and five tackle breaks.

But to Souths’ credit, they did not throw in the towel and gave Melbourne a little fright with their tries coming on their vaunted left-side, exposing the lack of experience in the Storm's right edge defence.

They’ll send plenty of traffic that way again although most of their points comes down that side of the field regardless of who they are facing. And they don't have Papenhuyzen to worry about either.

While the Bunnies have been on the boil for the best part of the past two months, they have been hit hard by injuries.

Last week’s win over Canberra came at a significant cost for Wayne Bennett’s men with star halfback Adam Reynolds (thumb), barnstorming backrower Cam Murray (ankle), centre Campbell Graham (hand) and winger Jaxson Paulo (hand) all joining the casualty ward.

They will also be without fullback Latrell Mitchell who still has two weeks to serve on his suspension.

Even with a heavily rejigged backline, Souths have a classy play making spine and a powerful pack that will keep them in the contest.

But no team smells blood in the water quicker than Melbourne. The Storm have been at their trademark relentless best since dropping back-to-back games to Parramatta and Penrith in Rounds 2 and 3.

Melbourne are on a five-game winning streak with the Storm scoring 40 points or more in four of those victories.

The purple powerhouse is pummelling all those in its wake. It is a very settled, star-studded and extremely well-drilled side that will want to make a statement by putting Souths away.

And even though he’d never admit it, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy would love to get another win over his former mentor Wayne Bennett even with the ledger in that head-to-head battle of wits already well in his favour.

The Storm will go up a gear here and be too good for the depleted Rabbitohs who will still give some cheek.

Storm 13+

$2.40

Johnston Anytime Try

$3.00

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