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The pressure is ratcheting up on St George Illawarra with the dogfight for the final playoff spots intensifying, COVID breach bans still to be served and the red-hot Rabbitohs next on their agenda.

This match has been transferred from a 3pm kick-off at Rockhampton on Saturday to 6.25pm on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane due to the revised round 20 draw brought about by Queensland's snap lockdown.

The Dragons, who are locked in a three-way tie for seventh with Cronulla and Canberra while the Gold Coast and Newcastle lurk just one win back in a tie for 10th place, have no margin for error given their tough run home which includes a return bout with this week's opponents.

South Sydney's potent attack will still be without try-scoring leader Alex Johnston but his absence mattered little in their 11-try destruction of the Warriors and the Dragons did nothing to suggest they will present a stiffer test given the way they capitulated to the Titans.

The Rabbitohs face a tough run home so they will be keen to live up to their status as favourites in this one.

The rundown

Team news

Dragons: Interchange forward Kaide Ellis gets a start at prop in a late swap with Josh Kerr.

Cody Ramsey has been named 18th man while Jordan Pereira is the final cut from the 17-man squad.

Ramsey's starting place was taken by Talatau Amone, while Corey Norman has also been listed in the centres.

Dragons quartet Jack de Belin, Jack Bird, Josh McGuire and Blake Lawrie are the four players serving their bans this week for the Shellharbour BBQ incident earlier this month.

Jaiyden Hunt and Jackson Ford come on to the bench.

Matt Dufty and Brayden Wiliame were omitted from the reserves 24 hours out from kick-off.

Dragons second-rower Tariq Sims will reach the milestone of 200 NRL games.

Rabbitohs: There are no late changes with halfback Adam Reynolds (hamstring) a confirmed starter. Halves partner Cody Walker (knee) is also good to go.

Braidon Burns is the 18th man with Dean Hawkins the final omission from the squad.

Lingering concussion symptoms mean that centre Campbell Graham, who Bennett said is "still getting some headaches", and prop Liam Knight have been ruled out for the second consecutive week.

Taane Milne replaces Graham while teenage prop Davvy Moale has been called on to the interchange to make his NRL debut.

NSW representative Cameron Murray has accepted a one-game ban for a crusher tackle charge with Jai Arrow moving into the starting side.

The Rabbitohs have won their past five games against the Dragons.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Tyrell Sloan
    Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew Feagai
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Josh Mansour
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Corey Norman
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Dane Gagai
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Talatau Amone
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 18 Taane Milne
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Gerard Beale
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Jaxson Paulo
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Jayden Sullivan
    Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Poasa Faamausili
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Mark Nicholls
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Dragons is number 17 Kaide Ellis
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas Burgess
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Billy Burns
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 13 Tyrell Fuimaono
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
  • Lock for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
    Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Jai Arrow

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 8 Josh Kerr
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Blake Taaffe
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Adam Clune
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Patrick Mago
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Jaiyden Hunt
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Jacob Host
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Jackson Ford
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 19 Davvy Moale

Reserves

  • Reserve for Dragons is number 18 Cody Ramsey
    Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 21 Braidon Burns

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Key match-up

Ben Hunt v Adam Reynolds: Hunt was once the Broncos No.7 and Reynolds will fill that role next year. Reynolds, one of the Rabbitohs' most popular players, would love nothing more than to go out with a premiership.

If Hunt can replicate his Origin III form the Dragons are in with a chance in this one.

Stat attack

South Sydney had 13 players run for at least 100m in their huge win over the Warriors last Saturday. Of that group, seven ran for more than 150m. Jai Arrow played just 30 minutes but still racked up an impressive 172m.

 

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