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NRL: Arch rivals set to open Allianz Stadium

The Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs will warm up for finals when they clash at the brand new Allianz Stadium on Friday night, while the Canterbury Bulldogs will also entertain Manly Sea Eagles.

Both the Roosters and Rabbitohs have secured a place in finals but there is no love lost between the two sides and we can expect a fierce encounter.

The clash between the two arch rivals will be the first sporting event to take place at the newly built Allianz Stadium and a large crowd is expected to pack into the venue just to add a bit of extra spice.

There is a chance these two sides could meet in finals and whoever wins Friday night’s game will get home advantage, so there is still a lot on the line.

In the early kick-off the Bulldogs and Sea Eagles will wrap up their seasons at Accor Stadium. Both teams will be glad to see the back of the season as they sit 12th and 11th respectively.

There is still pride to play for though, while one or two players will also be playing for their futures in 2023.

With that in mind let’s take a closer look at both games, starting with the Bulldogs versus Sea Eagles.

What: Canterbury Bulldogs v Manly Sea Eagles
Where: Accor Stadium, Sydney
When: 18:00 (AEST) Friday 2nd September 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Bulldogs 9/20, Sea Eagles 7/4

The Bulldogs have had a tough season but there are signs of hope for the future and they will be keen to sign off for 2022 on a high.

They have shown what they can do with victories over the North Queensland Cowboys, Parramatta Eels and Sydney Roosters but they have lacked consistency and will finish the season nowhere near the finals.

However with new coach Cameron Ciraldo locked in for 2023, along with a host of top signings, the Bulldogs will be looking to make the top eight next year.

For now some are playing for their futures and the Bulldogs will be looking to go out with a bang after losing the last four games.

The Bulldogs are boosted by the return of Luke Thompson from sickness, while Corey Waddell also returns from suspension. Tevita Pangai jnr is also expected to take a place on the bench.

The Sea Eagles looked on course to make the top eight at one point, even without the services of the injured Tom Trbojevic, but it has been a disastrous end to the season for them.

They have lost the last six games on the bounce and the pressure is starting to mount on experienced coach Des Hasler.

Manly will hand a starting spot to youngster Kaeo Weekes at fullback, while Andrew Davey and Dylan Walker will start in the pack.

What: Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Where: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
When: 19:55 (AEST) Friday 2nd September 2022
How to watch: Channel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Roosters 87/100, Rabbitohs 20/21

There is plenty on the line when the Roosters and Rabbitohs go head-to-head on Friday night. There is no better way to open a new stadium than with a clash between these two old rivals.

Not only that, whoever wins will be guaranteed a home final, so expect a fierce encounter.

The Roosters have been in great form and are peaking at just the right time after winning the last seven games on the bounce.

They were very impressive as they defeated the Melbourne Storm 18-14 on their own patch last week and will be keen to keep the momentum going with another big win against their arch rivals.

However they will have to do it without three key players. Victor Radley will be missing after suffering a nasty concussion in the win over the Storm last week, while Daniel Tupou is missing with a groin injury.

The influential Lindsay Collins is also out suspended so Siosiua Taukeiaho and Paul Momirovski will come into the starting side. Fletcher Baker and Terrell May will take a place on the bench.

South Sydney have looked like genuine premiership contenders in the back end of the season and last week’s 20-10 win over North Queensland was the perfect response to losing to the Panthers the week before.

The bunnies will be without coach Jason Demetriou for the game as he is sick, while Damien Cook also misses out once again through illness.

Campbell Gillard misses out through injury so Jaxson Paulo will return to the side in the centres.

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