The high-flying South Sydney Rabbitohs are playing their way to a home semifinal and beating the Gold Coast could secure the spot.
The Rabbits are one of the best teams in the NRL and only the Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers are on the same wavelength. However, they face a desperate Titans outfit that is seeking a playoff spot.
The online bookmaker believes the Rabbitohs have too much class for the Titans but do they have a chance to cause an almighty upset?
Are the Rabbitohs Title Contenders?
Not many predicted the Rabbitohs winning it all this season, but they’re proving the pundits wrong and their form has been scintillating.
South Sydney has won nine consecutive games following a loss to the Penrith Panthers in Round 11. It was a shocking 56-12 performance, but seeing the Rabbitohs respond with a winning streak is impressive fortitude.
Teams haven’t been getting close to this offensive machine of late. The Bulldogs got within eight points four weeks ago, but since then the combined winning has been 100 points across three games. That is an incredible feat and there doesn’t appear to be any slowing down, especially after trouncing the Eels in Round 21.
Beating the Titans is key for the Rabbits to play host to a semifinal game. They face the Panthers, Roosters, and Dragons to close out the season, so that’s two tough games, and wins aren’t guaranteed.
It could be win-or-bust this season as there are growing concerns about the salary cap. Losing the likes of Adam Reynolds and Dane Gagai is huge for this team, so it’s all or nothing in 2021.
Join us for another episode of the Rabbitohs Insider as we take a look at Adam Reynolds’ incredible journey from rookie to record-breaker 🐰🥇
WATCH: https://t.co/6PcEtvu7P9#GoRabbitohs ❤️💚 pic.twitter.com/1Xq8B3VxbG
— South Sydney Rabbitohs 🐰 (@SSFCRABBITOHS) August 11, 2021
League legend, and now boxing professional Paul Gallen, can’t believe the club let Adam Reynolds go.
“Firstly, congratulations to Adam Reynolds and what he has achieved. That club has been around since day one – to achieve that is an outstanding achievement and he deserves all the congratulations that he gets,” Gallen told SportingNews.
“I still can’t believe they let him go, I don’t know how they let him go for the sake of the one more year he wanted. The figure that he was asking I didn’t think was astronomical for a good first-grade halfback and a bloke that has played rep football.”
Despite the news of moving clubs, Reynolds is leading his team with distinction and that’s reflected in betting markets. The NRL betting markets have South Sydney at -16½ points, which is a sizable line against a top-eight team.
Titans Battling Back
It wasn’t a good start to the season for the Titans, who were fancied to finish in the top four given their quality off-season signings.
They haven’t been able to find any traction, but recent results are encouraging and they have made their way into the top eight.
The run started with a 32-10 win against the St George Dragons before beating the Bulldogs 34-6 and Cowboys 36-14. The boost in offense has been the primary reason for their recent success, but we don’t think they’ll score 30+ against South Sydney’s defense.
Therefore, the Titans need to continue playing solid defense and take the opportunities presented to them. There won’t be many, but if the likes of Alex Brimson and Brian Kelly can find their top form, the Titans are upset-worthy.
The Gold Coast Titans have made it three-straight wins and have moved to seventh on the NRL ladder after a 36 points to 14 win over the North Queensland Cowboys. https://t.co/LyPyHcCfcR
— Gold Coast Titans (@GCTitans) August 8, 2021
We have been a little disappointed with Brimson, but the Queensland Maroons player still has a chance to shine. With four games left in the regular season, he can take this Titans team up the ladder and get an easier playoff game in the first round.
However, they could easily go backward at the rate of knots. They play the table-topping Melbourne Storm next week, followed by the Newcastle Knights and New Zealand Warriors.
All three games are tricky, so the Titans could find themselves on the outside looking in.
Being competitive against the Rabbitohs on Saturday is important for the confidence of this young side.
Covering a double-digit margin is never easy, but there is seemingly no stopping the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the moment.
They are playing with superior confidence and the Titans could get on the back foot early and struggle to keep up offensively.
We see the Rabbitohs taking a 10-point lead into halftime and forcing the Titans to play catch-up, which rarely works in the NRL.