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South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders Tips & Preview - Raiders to struggle without Origin forwards

ryan-tucker
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Last updated: 26 May 2023
Ryan Tucker 26 May 2023
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  • South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders predictions for Saturday’s NRL game (19:35 AEST)
  • Canberra have conceded an average of 30 points per game since their bye in Rd 8
  • Will the Raiders defence suffer even more without their experienced forwards?
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south sydney rabbitohs
South Sydney Rabbitohs (Getty Images)

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders Predictions


South Sydney and Canberra meet in a Saturday evening battle at Accor. It is the first time in over four years since these teams have met in Sydney. 
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders Predictions
  • Head to Head 
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs Form
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs Team News
  • South Sydney Rabbitohs Team List
  • Canberra Raiders Form
  • Canberra Raiders Team News
  • Canberra Raiders Team List

Both teams are missing Origin stars but it is the Rabbits who still hold the upper hand on paper. The loss of Hudson Young and Elliot Whitehead will test the depth of the Raiders squad and I am backing Cody Walker and Lachlan Ilias to expose the defensive inefficiencies of their opponents. 

The short line on offer has been affected by Origin selection but I had Souths by almost 18 points prior to teams being named. In my opinion the Raiders are the team most affected by missing players and we can grab value in the number.

  • South Sydney averaged 31 points a game across their 6 game win streak prior to getting beaten in round 12.
  • Cody Walker has scored 7 tries along with 15 try assists and 18 line break assists in 2023. 
  • Canberra are 16th in the NRL in points conceded allowing almost 26 points per game. 
  • Canberra have conceded 47% of their tries down the right hand side in 2023.

Head to Head 


The Rabbits and Raiders have met in four regular season games and one finals game since 2019. Souths have won only twice in that time with their last win coming in April of 2021 at GIO Stadium 34-20.

Canberra put the sword to Souths in May of 2022, the last time these two teams played each other, running away 32-12 victors.

South Sydney Rabbitohs Form


The Rabbitohs went down to Parramatta last weekend in an uncharacteristic defensive display 36-16. 

It was the first time in 2023 that Souths have allowed over 20 points to their opponents, with the Eels also racking up close to 2000 run metres. 

Preceding their round 12 loss the Rabbitohs had won six in a row with an average margin of 20 points, covering the spread in every match. 

South Sydney Rabbitohs Team News


Latrell Mitchell, Cameron Murray and Jai Arrow have all been selected in the Blues squad for Origin 1. 

Blake Taaffe will get another shot at fullback, while Liam Knight replaces Murray at lock. 

Shaquai Mitchell and Tallis Duncan join the interchange bench, but with Keaon Koloamatangi listed in the reserves Duncan may be excluded closer to game time. 

Campbell Graham (rib injury) will play despite withdrawing from the NSW camp through injury. 

South Sydney Rabbitohs Team List


1. Blake Taaffe
2. Alex Johnston
3. Isaiah Tass
4. Campbell Graham
5. Taane Milne
6. Cody Walker
7. Lachlan Ilias
8. Tevita Tatola
9. Damien Cook
10. Hame Sele 
11. Michael Chee Kam
12. Jacob Host
13. Liam Knight

Interchange

14. Jed Cartwright
15. Tallis Duncan
16. Shaq Mitchell
17. Daniel Suluka-Fifita

Reserves

18. Richard Kennar
19. Tyrone Munro
20. Peter Mamouzelos
21. Keaon Koloamatangi
22. Dean Hawkins

Canberra Raiders Form


The Raiders five game winning streak was broken in spectacular form last week by a determined Manly outfit. Canberra allowed over 40 points to their opposition for the second time this year losing the game 42-14. 

The men in green missed 45 tackles in their round 12 loss and it puts them into 16th spot in the league for points allowed in 2023.

Their defence will need to be on song if they are to match the attacking prowess of the Rabbitohs this week.

Canberra Raiders Team News


Hudson Young will make his Origin debut for NSW which allows Corey Harawira-Naera to return to the starting line up.

Elliot Whitehead received a two match suspension but has succumbed to injury anyway which sees Corey Horsburgh to edge backrow. 

Joe Tapine moves to lock and Pasami Saulo will start at prop. Hooker Zac Woolford has overcome concussion with Danny Levi dropping out. 

Nick Cotric returns to the bench after a hamstring injury. 

Canberra Raiders Team List


1. Sebastian Kris 
2. Albert Hopoate
3. Jarrod Croker 
4. Matt Timoko
5. Jordan Rapana
6. Jack Wighton
7. Jamal Fogarty
8. Josh Papalii
9. Zac Woolford
10. Pasami Saulo
11. Corey Harawira-Naera
12. Corey Horsburgh
13. Joe Tapine

Interchange

14. Tom Starling
15. Emre Guler
16. Nick Cotric
17. Ata Mariota

Reserves

18. Hohepa Puru
19. Danny Levi
20. Matt Frawley
21. Harley Smith-Shields
22. Peter Hola

Verdict

Even though Canberra have won a few games, their defence has been terrible. Especially since their bye in round 8. 

Hudson Young and Elliot Whitehead are important pieces that the Raiders will miss in both defence and attack. Souths should have no problem covering and I expect them to dominate both halves racking up a significant total.

Best Bet: Rabbitohs -2.5 Handicap Line @23/24 at bet365 - 3 Units
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Rabbitohs -2.5
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South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canberra Raiders