Eels v Rabbitohs: Ogden in for first game; Burgess ruled out – Michmutters

Eels v Rabbitohs: Ogden in for first game; Burgess ruled out

Victory over the Sea Eagles last week has kept Parramatta right in the race for a spot in the top four, but they will have to be on their game again to get past a Rabbitohs side who have won five of their past six matches.

The Eels won without Mitchell Moses last week and crucially showed an ability to back up from a big win the previous week, something which has been lacking for them in 2022, and will have taken confidence from overcoming the Sea Eagles in the final half hour of the match.

South Sydney were always in control against the Warriors and were able to manage the minutes of a couple of key men as a result of being well up midway through the second half.

The Rabbitohs can jump past Parramatta into fifth place with a victory on Friday night, while the Eels know any dropped game at this point could signal at end to the realistic hope of finishing inside the top four.

The Rundown


Eels: Just the one change from the side which beat Manly in round 21, with Ofahiki Ogden set to play his first NRL game of the year, joining the interchange at the expense of Makahesi Makatoa. Winger Bailey Simonsson is among the reserves as he looks to return from a hamstring injury.

Rabbitohs: Hame Sele returns from a hamstring injury in the front row, pushing Daniel Suluka-Fifita to the reserves. Thomas Burgess has served his one-game suspension but will miss the match with a groin injury. Center Campbell Graham is still sidelined by the cheekbone injury which has kept him out since Round 16.

key match-up

Clint Gutherson v Latrell Mitchell: Despite being rested for the final 18 minutes of the victory over the Warriors, Mitchell scored half of his side’s 48 points and set up a further two tries for his side. Gutherson was enormous for the Eels last week, taking over a chunk of the attacking workload in the absence of Mitchell Moses and scoring a crucial second-half try which broke the spirit of Manly.

Stat Attack

Latrell Mitchell has been on fire with the boot lately and right now is on a streak of 12-straight successful kicks, stretching across two games. That ability to turn fours into sixes isn’t a luxury the Eels have without Mitchell Moses in their side though, with Clinton Gutherson struggling off the tee in last week’s victory against the Sea Eagles, kicking four of seven. If it ends up being a close match the difference in kicking could be critical.

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