Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers: Murray makes timely return ; Tigers lose Twal

The Rabbitohs have found the going tough in 2022 as injuries to stars Latrell Mitchell and Cameron Murray have hit hard and their new-look spine has struggled for cohesion.

Souths have already lost more games than they did all season in 2021 and their devastating left-side attack seems to have deserted them.

In contrast the Tigers have gradually found their feet and the inclusion of Brent Naden gives them another strike weapon out wide.

When the sides met in round seven it was the Tigers coming away with an upset 23-22 victory on the back of a late Luke Brooks field goal so Michael Maguire's men will have plenty of belief heading into Saturday's rematch.

The Rundown
Latest team news

Rabbitohs: A huge in for the Rabbitohs with captain Cameron Murray confirmed to return from a shoulder injury. He will start at lock with Hame Sele shifting to the bench. Kodi Nikorima is a surprise start at fullback with Blake Taaffe dropping back to the interchange list. Tevita Tatola and Taane Milne have also both been named after picking up head knocks last week and are expected to play, along with Mark Nicholls who will come off the bench in his first game back from an ankle injury.

Wests Tigers: Good news for Michael Maguire's side with Daine Laurie (knee), Luke Brooks (hamstring) and Jackson Hastings (foot) all set to play their first game together since defeating the Rabbitohs in Round 7. Alex Twal has been ruled out, however, with Alex Seyfarth taking his place on the bench. Tyrone Peachey and Jock Madden remain in the squad as reserves.

Key match-up
Cody Walker v Luke Brooks: The Bunnies' spiritual leader looked out of sorts in Dubbo but he's sure to be primed for something special in Indigenous Round. If the Rabbitohs are to turn their fortunes around it starts with Walker playing up-tempo and bringing his trademark energy to the table. Brooks' return from a hamstring injury is a massive boost for the Tigers and he'll resume his combination with Jackson Hastings which was proving so effective. Since moving to No.6 in round six, Brooks has racked up four try assists, two line breaks and 12 tackle breaks, revelling in the extra freedom of playing wider and letting Hastings control the game.

Stat Attack
The Rabbitohs have scored 42 tries in 11 rounds this season compared to 45 tries at the same stage last season but they have won just five games compared to eight at the corresponding stage in 2021. The Tigers have 29 tries after 11 rounds compared to 38 at the same time last year.


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