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2023 NRL Fantasy Tips: Round 8 Rabbitohs vs Panthers
A huge Thursday Night Football clash, as the Penrith Panthers head to Accor Stadium to take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs. These teams would have to be close to the most familiar with one another in the league, as the two have squared off on eight occasions in less than two years. The Rabbitohs will be determined to get revenge, after the Panthers got by the Bunnies 16-10 in round 2.
Draftstars has a $15,000 guaranteed contest for the first game of the round, with the winner set to pocket a cool $1,133. With several other contests available, there’s a contest for everyone, so get involved and make this game even more interesting.
The Rabbitohs welcome back winger Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson this week, with Taane Milne 18th man. Crucially, they lose star backrower Keaon Koloamatangi (ankle) for several weeks, with Michael Chee Kam named to replace the hulking edge forward. No other changes for the Rabbitohs.
The Panthers are once again without Liam Martin, after he again succumbed to injury after only 34 minutes in his comeback last week. He’s once again replaced by Scott Sorensen. Lindsay Smith joins the bench in the only other change.
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($2.60) vs Penrith Panthers ($1.50)
Points total – 38.5 points
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The Panthers have absolutely dominated this matchup, winning 10 of the past 11 matchups between the teams. In the round 2 clash, the Panthers dominated the Rabbitohs for large periods of the 80 minutes, leading 6-0 with less than 15 minutes remaining. The Rabbitohs managed 2 late tries to make the scoreboard respectable, but it’ll be interesting to see whether they can take that last 15 minutes into this week’s game, or whether the Panthers will continue to suffocate the life out of the Bunnies.
I believe it’ll be tight, with either team winning by one score or less, in a low scoring affair. Should be a fantastic way to kick-off NRL Round 8.
Love It – Stephen Crichton - $11,610
Crichton hasn’t looked particularly impressive over the first two months of the competition, at least in attack. He’s managed just the one score above 40, despite scoring 3 tries this season. So why, may you ask, do I have Stephen Crichton in this list. It’s because Crichton LOVES playing the Rabbitohs. I’m not sure what it is, but Crichton always seems to serve up his best for the Bunnies, highlighted by his 7 tries in 8 games against the cardinal and myrtle. In a matchup where there probably won’t be many points scored, I’ll go for the guy who always seems to cross the stripe against the Rabbitohs.
Love It – Cody Walker - $17,290
Cody has been in tremendous form over the past month, averaging 67.4 in that time period, with a low score of 58.1. Much like Crichton, Walker loves to cross the stripe against the Panthers, with 6 tries in his past 8 appearances against the Mountain Men. But it’s not just about this, as Walker has hit his straps this season, scoring 5 tries in the past 4 weeks, whilst also producing 6 try assists, 8 line-break assists, and 3 line-breaks. He’s tearing it up, and although he will struggle to tear the Panthers to shreds in this way, I can see him making a few big plays in this game to produce a solid score.
Love It – Cam Murray - $20,710
Murray just keeps getting it done, and justifies his price tag week after week. He’s going to want revenge too, after Isaiah Yeo outplayed him in the round 2 matchup with the Panthers. His consistency is brilliant for DFS, with his lone score under 62 being his 48.3 against the Panthers in round 2. I don’t believe we will see that again, with a minimum of 62 on the cards here for Murray. It’s definitely a concern, given how good the Panthers are at shutting down opposing middle forwards, but it’s hard to keep a good man down. I believe Murray will have a huge game this week, and potentially win the game for the Rabbitohs.
Hate It – Dylan Edwards - $17,910
There’s not much I hate about Edwards’ game, however the Rabbitohs seem to have a decent gameplan when it comes to slowing down his output. The Rabbitohs kicked almost exclusively to Sunia Turuva in round 2, and I can’t see any reason for that to change. This will mean that Edwards needs to earn his points through more attacking plays, and less throughout hard work. With only 17 carries in round 2, the Rabbitohs would be mad not to use the same game plan to shut down one of the form players of the competition. With the scores predicted to be low, I expect a sub-50 performance here for Edwards.
Hate It – Nathan Cleary - $25,100
Cleary turned it on for the three rounds prior to last week, scoring 86, 87, and 95 in successive weeks, before falling back to Earth with a 61 last week. I’m more looking at the Panthers last clash with the Rabbitohs for my reasoning here though. In round 2, Cleary only managed 42.6, being involved in exactly 0 attacking stats, whilst gaining the majority of his points from kicking for over 500 metres in general play. Whilst I expect Cleary to do a little better than 43 this week, I don’t believe the Rabbitohs will allow him to do whatever he wants. A 60-point performance is what I’m expecting here, and that just won’t cut it for $25k.
Who Knows – Campbell Graham - $15,350
Graham continues to be up and down in DFS, despite being one of the form players of the competition. The Rabbits’ centre is rightfully garnering a lot of attention for a place in the NSW Blues team, and a big performance here against the Premiers could well put him over the top. So far this season, he has four scores of 58+, whilst having two scores under 30. He only managed 24 (lowest score of the season) against the Panthers in round 2, however I can see him having a far better performance this week. Still, for this price, it’s hard to be certain on a guy who has struggled some weeks this season.
Draftstars Suggested Lineup