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Des Hasler will be looking for a solid response from his side after they suffered a crushing 42-point defeat by the Roosters in round one.

It will be hard to lift the Sea Eagles' chins up off the ground but if anyone can generate improvement in his players it's Hasler.

The Rabbitohs won't be in a charitable mood of course, as they will be hungry to put their first competition points on the 2021 ladder after the loss to defending champs Melbourne in round one.

And the Rabbitohs were far from disgraced in their four-tries-to-three defeat, although they did miss 22 tackles.

Manly missed a whopping 38 against the Roosters so we know where most of Hasler's focus will be in this week's preparations.

Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs

The rundown

Team news

Sea Eagles: A late change for Des Hasler with Taniela Paseka coming into the starting side and Josh Aloiai reverting to the bench.

Kieran Foran picked up a cork in the loss to the Roosters but the five-eighth has been cleared to take his place, though at least a month-long lay-off for Curtis Sironen (knee) brings Jack Gosiewski back into the run-on side and Josh Schuster onto the bench.

Sironen and Morgan Harper were the two players to drop out of the squad on Friday while Tevita Funa and Toafofoa Sipley were cut an hour before kick-off.

Cade Cust, who scored three tries for Blacktown in NSW Cup, is back in the team while Sean Keppie bumps Morgan Boyle out of the 21-man squad.

Gun fullback Tom Trbojevic is at least a fortnight away with his hamstring injury so the experiment with Dylan Walker in the No.1 jersey appears set to continue.

The Sea Eagles have lost nine of their past 10 games.

Rabbitohs: The Rabbitohs are 1-17. Middle forward Liam Knight, having resumed contact training, has been ruled out again after missing the Storm game as his concussion recovery continues. Off-season recruit Josh Mansour was the other man to drop out of the 21-man squad on Friday.

Another recruit Jacob Host dropped out of the 17 after the first-up loss and his place is taken by Keaon Koloamatangi in the starting side. Patrick Mago is the new face on the bench.

Host and Tautau Moga were the last two players cut an hour before kick-off.

Wayne Bennett has declared prop Tom Burgess will be good to go after his neck injury last weekend against Melbourne. Burgess trained on Thursday and Bennett said he would be right to take his place against Manly.

Winger Alex Johnston has scored 11 tries in his past six NRL games.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Dylan Walker
    Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
  • Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason Saab
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
  • Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brad Parker
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Dane Gagai
  • Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Moses Suli
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Campbell Graham
  • Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben Garrick
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Jaxson Paulo
  • Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran Foran
    Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
  • Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans
    Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds

Forwards

  • Prop for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin Taupau
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Thomas Burgess
  • Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan Croker
    Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Sea Eagles is number 17 Taniela Paseka
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Tevita Tatola
  • 2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Andrew Davey
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
  • 2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 15 Jack Gosiewski
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
  • Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake Trbojevic
    Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 8 Josh Aloiai
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Benji Marshall
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Cade Cust
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Mark Nicholls
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 16 Sean Keppie
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Patrick Mago
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 18 Josh Schuster
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Jai Arrow

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

Cameron Murray v Jake Trbojevic: The Origin teammares find themselves as opposing locks on Saturday. Both players are near textbook-perfect in their tackling techniques and have engines the size of long-distance freight trains. 

Murray made 49 tackles against Storm with Trbojevic racking up 43 in the Roosters game.

Stat attack

Keeping with the defence 'theme' that Hasler must be hammering into his players, comes the fact the Rabbitohs were second in the NRL last year for line breaks - 116. The Sea Eagles were well down the list in 11th spot with 75.

 

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