The Best of the Day preview charges off the back fence with NRL tips for a potential powderkeg as South Sydney Rabbitohs host Brisbane Broncos.
19:55 (AEST) @ ANZ Stadium, Sydney
History: Played 41: Brisbane 29 V South Sydney 11 (1 Draw)
Last meeting: Round 2, 2020: Brisbane 22 d South Sydney 18 at Suncorp Stadium
Final thoughts: The Best of the Day preview breaks down the latest edition of the NRL’s most bitter, trash talk-heavy grudge match. Incredibly, the already spicy showdown has become more multi-faceted on match-day eve.
South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett has taken several customary swipes at the game’s preeminent punching bag, Brisbane counterpart and predecessor Anthony Seibold. But the besieged Seibold will surely be indulging in some schadenfreude after Bennett was stood down for two weeks on Thursday for breaching biosecurity protocols.
— 7NEWS Australia (@7NewsAustralia) August 6, 2020
Brisbane need any advantage they can get. The Broncos have won just one of 10 games since the restart. They conceded 30-plus points in six of those, including 36 or more in their last three. They scored eight or less five times.
Last week’s 36-26 defeat to Cronulla was an improvement, but they still bottled an eight-point lead with 10 minutes to go. Darius Boyd’s move to fullback was beneficial, while Anthony Milford’s injury may actual improve the Broncos’ halves cohesion. Brodie Croft returns for Milford, David Fifita is a huge in for his first match since March and Matt Lodge could be a late inclusion.
A great passage of play from the @brisbanebroncos!
— NRL (@NRL) July 31, 2020
The Rabbioths’ M.O. since the season’s resumption has been beating the poor teams and losing to the good ones. Their eighth-place standing is fitting, but there’s no denying Souths have lost significant ground on 2018-19.
Last week’s 32-24 win over the Dragons after trailing by 16 was perhaps most encouraging for the performances of Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell. Adam Reynolds will line up opposite Tom Dearden despite leaving the field early against the Saints.
— NRL (@NRL) July 30, 2020
Broncos win seven of last 10 against Rabbits
Souths’ pair of wins over Brisbane in 2019 – 38-6 at ANZ, 22-20 at Suncorp – gave Bennett nine straight victories in Rabbitohs-Broncos clashes. But that streak ended via the Broncos’ rousing 22-18 home win this season just before the COVID-19 shutdown.
Souths have to be favoured to grind out a Best of the Day win over a Brisbane side searching desperately for confidence and defensive resolve. But the Broncos’ returning forwards and Souths’ Bennett blow put them in the frame to at least cover a big line.
Exclusive* footage of the moment Wayne Bennett found out eating at a restaurant was not allowed in the NRL's biosecurity measures.
— Sporting News Australia (@sportingnewsau) August 6, 2020