The Outsider #25 – Round 11 preview

Round 11: South Sydney versus North Queensland

The Outsider

We’ve notched up another two wins in-a-row and are looking to win three straight for the first time this year. After putting competition favourites St. George Illawarra away last week it’s now Souths’ turn to be crowned favourites.

It is only early days and I am sure the players aren’t getting ahead of themselves. An away trip is the perfect opportunity for them to steer clear of the Redfern cheer squad and focus on another solid performance.

Check out the Rabbitohs team lineup.

The Outsider’s Fearless Five

Ambush

No matter where North Queensland are on the ladder, we always struggle in Townsville. We have won one of our last five starts up there.

Preparation is key so with a new coach it will be interesting to see how he prepares the team. We have seen Souths sides of the past do the final run in Sydney or even set up camp in Queensland with no results.

The Townsville crowd are vocal and love their Saturday footy so things won’t be easy.

Origin spots

As we approach State of Origin, a few of our players will be fine tuning their auditions. Angus Crichton played out of his skin last week and I am sure after the game he would have received a bit of praise from the NSW brains trust. Likewise with Damien Cook who had another great performance.

On the other side of the border, Greg Inglis is a walk up with the possibility of being captain after the sudden retirement of Cameron Smith. The main focus will be on Dane Gagai who has been solid but is due for a big performance. There’s no better time to do it then this week.

Overplaying your hand

At times last week, we got carried away with our attack and did some lower percentage plays. When you’re 12 in front you shouldn’t be playing like you’re 12 behind. This is a massive lesson that needs to be learnt for future weeks.

It’s good to see that we are out to score points but when you’re rolling the dice it can come back to bite you.

Flat track

One thing about playing in Townsville is the surface. It’s as flat as a tact and the bounce is unpredictable. Our kicking game needs to be pin point otherwise there’ll be a lot of seven tackle sets to defend. The in goals may look deep but that’s deceptive. We’ve been caught out with our kicking game up there in the past and North Queensland make you pay for it.

Complete, complete, complete and repeat

Our completion rate was poor last week and if it wasn’t for a dejected St. George Illawarra side then who knows what would have happened. Our defence last week was able to kill any chance of us losing.

Conditions are quite different to what we expect in Sydney at this time of the year. It’s a lot warmer and humid which is something that we are not too familiar with. This can cause fatigue which leads to errors.

Last week Seibold only used 16 players with Adam Doueihi catching a cold on the sideline. This week he needs to use all 17 players as the Townsville conditions will take a lot of energy out of our players. We also have a trip across the ditch the week after so going through this game unscathed is vital.

Game Day

The Outsider’s prediction

It’s time to break the shackles and rewrite the record books by notching up our first win there since 2015 and our last win prior to that was in 2008.

If we control the football and not give North Queensland a sniff then we are surely home. It will be tough though, as North Queensland won’t lay down and no matter how many points we are up they will always be a threat with a player like Jonathan Thurston in their team.

Wherever you’re watching the game, I hope you have a good one. I’ll be back after the game to give you my verdict.

Until then….

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