NRL Preview: Warriors v Rabbitohs



NRL Preview
New Zealand Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Saturday, August 13, 5.30pm (AEST), Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Best Bet: Under 41.5 ($1.90)
Other: New Zealand/New Zealand HT/FT ($1.72)
Solomone Kata First Try ($12.00)

New Zealand’s push into the Top 8 can be solidified on Saturday night when they host a South Sydney team anchored in the bottom four and playing some rather ordinary Rugby League.

Selection Notes
New Zealand are unchanged from the team that defeated Gold Coast last Sunday. South Sydney are also unchanged.

New Zealand have won 18 of 29 all-time v South Sydney but the Rabbitohs have won the last four and 8 of the last 12 dating back to 2008. Souths won 36-4 when the teams met in Perth in Round 13. This is the first meeting at Mt Smart since 2013 with the last six at the ground split evenly. The last six matches between the sides have topped 40 points.

NRL betting odds database

The Warriors have ascended to eighth on the ladder with a 10-10 record and a -7 differential. They have won their last two while remarkably 4 of their last 6 games have gone to golden point.  They rank 8th in attack and 12th in defence for the season but since Round 11 are 6th in attack and 5th in defence. South Sydney are 14th on the ladder with a 5-15 record and a -141 differential, 12th in the NRL. Since Round 11 they rank 15th in both attack and defence with a near-identical for and against to Newcastle. They have lost none straight and have scored more than 14 just once in their last eight games.

Round 23 NRL Odds

Key Matchup
Jazz Tevaga v Damien Cook. Tevaga will need to step up in the absence of Issac Luke and to be honest he has not shown a lot in his chances this year. Cook has incredibly struggled for time this year but in his first start Souths improved incredibly. He will need to be the dominant force if Souths are to cause the upset.

Stats That Matter
New Zealand are 10-10 ATS this year with an 11-9 over record while South Sydney are 6-14 ATS with an 11-9 over record. Souths have covered just 2 of their last 9 and gone under in 4 of their last 5. The Warriors have covered their last three and gone under in 6 of their last 7. New Zealand have covered just 2 of their last 8 at Mt Smart when favoured by more than a converted try while they are 4-0 ATS as a favourite after conceding 10 points or less. Souths are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 away from ANZ while they are 2-6 ATS getting a start of 8.5 or more since 2013. Away teams getting a start of 8.5 or more who conceded 15 points or fewer last start are 40-50 ATS.

In-Play Stat
The Warriors are 5-1 when leading at halftime this year. Souths have trailed a remarkable 15 times at halftime this year, coming back just once.

Behind The Curtains

Final Thoughts
There is a big black mark through South Sydney now and it will take a lot for them to get out of the doghouse. They were good against Melbourne but one swallow does not make a summer. The Warriors have a power game that could cause the poor outside backs at Souths all kinds of grief. Saying that, the Warriors don’t put teams away too often so the best bet is to bet the under and the Warriors in the halftime/fulltime double market.

How It’s Shaping Up
New Zealand by 12

Best Bet
Under 41.5 ($1.90)

Best Exotic
New Zealand/New Zealand HT/FT ($1.72)

Best First/Last Tryscorer
Solomone Kata ($12.00)

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