Round 21 is a must-win for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, who are 11-0-8 on the year, which has them in the eighth spot for the finals. The Raiders are just a game back, though, for the last spot into the finals with five matches to play.
The reason Saturday’s match is a must-win for South Sydney is that the New Zealand Warriors are just 5-0-14 on the year, which has them in the bottom four.
New Zealand has nothing to play for at this point, but sometimes that’s when a team is most dangerous in rugby betting picks.
Teams’ Previous Matchups Scoreboard
South Sydney suffered a heartbreaking 21-20 loss to the Sharks last weekend. Even though Cronulla-Sutherland is a top-three team and a win by the Rabbitohs in that matchup would have been a nice momentum builder.
The Rabbitohs did have a strong performance two weekends ago, beating Melbourne 24-12 to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Storm. South Sydney is now 6-31 all-time vs. Melbourne, so that was a truly rare victory.
Victories are something that is few and far between this year for the Warriors. Thanks to a 22-2 win over the last place Wests Tigers on July 2nd, New Zealand is now 1-10 in their last 11 matches.
Even though they are on different spots in the ladder, with the Rabbitohs fighting for a spot in the finals and the Warriors in the bottom five, these two did play each other very close on May 14th, with South Sydney squeaking out a 32-30 victory.
The Rabbitohs held a 26-6 halftime lead in that game before the Warriors stormed back but ultimately ran out of time, making their last try with just 1:30 left.
Rabbitohs vs. Warriors Betting Analysis
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. New Zealand Warriors bets have the home team as a hefty -19.5 favorite. That line makes sense considering South Sydney is going to pull out all the stops to try and hold on to the eighth seed and the last spot in the finals, but it also seems high considering their 32-30 meeting with New Zealand in round 10.
Warrior’s Losing Streak
The Warriors have lost three straight, but they’ve been fairly close: 28-18 against Parramatta, 26-14 against Canberra, and 24-12 last weekend against Melbourne.
The Eels and Storm are top eight teams, while the Raiders are trying to chase down South Sydney from the ninth spot.
New Zealand would pay +650 for the upset, although that does seem unlikely. At the very least, one would think they could keep this match within 20 points during round 21 rugby betting.
Although it wasn’t easy – at least in the second half – the Rabbitohs’ win over New Zealand in round 10 was their sixth straight in the head-to-head series.
That match was on the road, and South Sydney kind of eased up a bit after getting the big 26-6 lead, so maybe it wasn’t as close as the 32-30 final score would indicate.
Taane Milne returns from a finger injury for South Sydney, which is a big lift as he had eight points in the first meeting with the Warriors.
Rabbitohs Lineup Breakdown
Alex Johnston leads the Rabbitohs with 88 points, while the duo of Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker can bring some magic too.
What the Rabbitohs really need to do here is avoid looking ahead. After this weekend’s matchup with a bottom-five team, South Sydney runs a gauntlet of the Eels, Panthers, Cowboys, and Roosters to close out the year- all teams that looked destined for the finals.
New Zealand hung with Melbourne last week until the second half, and in their earlier match with South Sydney, they turned things on after halftime. If this squad could ever put together a full game, they would be a very dangerous opponent.
Chanel Harris-Tavita is out with a knee injury for round 21, but New Zealand does get some help with Aaron Pene, Bayley Soronen, and Jack Murchie all returning to the team. Will it be enough, though?
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. New Zealand Warriors Betting Preview
The Rabbitohs will almost assuredly win this game outright for their seventh straight over New Zealand, but there are a lot of things working against South Sydney to cover the -19.5 point spread.
Rabbitohs vs. Warriors Betting Prediction
The Rabbitohs have an absolute gauntlet of pain coming up, finishing the year with four games against the top seven teams, including 1-2 Penrith and North Queensland.
It seems like Saturday’s match is one where South Sydney does just enough to get the win and the four points without overexerting themselves too much for the upcoming battles. When making your South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. New Zealand Warriors bets, take New Zealand +18.5!
NRL Pick: Warriors +18.5 (-120)