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NRL preview panel for round 12

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017 Matt Coughlan

FRIDAY May 26

South Sydney v Parramatta at ANZ Stadium, 7.50pm

Head to head: Rabbitohs 67 Eels 52 Draw 3

Last clash: Round 15, 2016 - Eels 30 bt Rabbitohs 12 at ANZ Stadium

TAB: Rabbitohs $1.75 Eels $2.10

FootyTAB: Eels +2.5

This is the weekend's only match unaffected by State of Origin call-ups. Rabbitohs hooker Robbie Farah can show NSW coach Laurie Daley what he's missing after being overlooked in favour of Nathan Peats. The Eels will be without Michael Jennings (quad) and Corey Norman (knee) is still more than month away. South Sydney are on a five-day back-up after last week's brave loss to Melbourne in Perth, while the Eels went down to Canberra on Saturday night in a tight tussle. Both teams have put in promising performances during the year, only to be let down by inconsistency.

Key: While the Rabbitohs' defence has been impressive in recent weeks, can their attack find enough points to overcome the Eels?

Tip: Rabbitohs

SATURDAY May 27

Warriors v Brisbane at Mt Smart Stadium, 5.30pm

Head to head: Warriors 15 Broncos 23

Last clash: Round 13, 2016 - Warriors 36 bt Broncos 18 at Mt Smart Stadium

TAB: Warriors $1.36 Broncos $3.20

FootyTAB: Broncos +6.5

The Broncos are the hardest hit by Origin selection, with Darius Boyd, Corey Oates, Anthony Milford, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire and Sam Thaiday all on Queensland duty. Benji Marshall and Ben Hunt will be Brisbane's starting halves, with both making a timely return from injury. Hooker Andrew McCullough has been scratched due to concussion with Travis Waddell to wear the No.9 jersey. The Warriors, who have lost Jacob Lillyman to Origin, will be desperate for a win over the Broncos after losing four of their past five and slumping to 14th.

Key: The Warriors have won their past three in Auckland and should be too strong for the undermanned Broncos.

Tip: Warriors

Cronulla v Canterbury at Southern Cross Group Stadium, 7.30pm

Head to head: Bulldogs 54 Sharks 32 Draw 2

Last clash: Round 13, 2016 - Sharks 20 bt Bulldogs 18 at ANZ Stadium

TAB: Sharks $1.53 Bulldogs $2.50

FootyTAB: Bulldogs +4.5

Fa'amanu Brown will start for the Sharks, replacing James Maloney at five-eighth, while Gerard Beale comes in for Jack Bird. Cronulla will also be without two of their most-dangerous forwards with Andrew Fifita and Wade Graham in camp with NSW. Canterbury, missing outside back Brett Morris, second-rower Josh Jackson and prop David Klemmer to Origin duty, dropped out of the eight after last week's loss to the Sydney Roosters. Paul Gallen is an unfamiliar face at club level at this time of year and will look to inflict a third-straight defeat on the Bulldogs.

Key: Which forward pack will handle their significant Origin losses better?

Tip: Cronulla

SUNDAY May 28

Canberra v Sydney Roosters at GIO Stadium, 4pm

Head to head: Raiders 26 Roosters 32

Last clash: Round 2, 2016 - Canberra 21 bt Roosters 20 at GIO Stadium

TAB: Raiders $1.42 Roosters $2.90

FootyTAB: Roosters +6.5

Josh Papalii is the Raiders' sole loss to Origin, while the Roosters will be without Mitchell Pearce, Dylan Napa, Blake Ferguson, Boyd Cordner and Aidan Guerra. Canberra will be eager to start putting consistent wins on the board. last week's 22-16 win over the Eels broke a three-game losing streak. Star winger Jordan Rapana will look to build on the form he regained last round and make life difficult for the depleted Roosters who are searching for their first win in Canberra since 2010.

Key: Are the Raiders learning to win the close encounters which they seem to regularly find themselves in?

Tip: Canberra

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