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NRL: Eels and Rabbitohs fight for top four

The race to make the top four continues on Friday night when Parramatta take on South Sydney, while the New Zealand Warriors are also set to entertain the Canterbury Bulldogs.

With four rounds of the regular NRL season remaining the pressure is on as teams scramble for positions and the game between the Eels and the Rabbitohs is a big one.

Parramatta sit in fifth place on the ladder but have a chance to jump into the top four if they can beat the Rabbitohs and results elsewhere go their way.

Making the top four is huge and South Sydney also have a chance to squeeze in there. As things stand they sit just two points behind the Eels so victory at CommBank Stadium would put the cat among the pigeons.

The early kick-off sees the Warriors take on the Bulldogs, two sides well away from the race for the top eight, but looking to finish the season strongly nonetheless.

Pride is still on the line and players are playing for their futures ahead of the 2023 NRL season.

It looks like being a big night of action in the NRL so let’s take a closer look at both games.

What: New Zealand Warriors v Canterbury Bulldogs
Where: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
When: 18:00 (AEST) Friday 12th August 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Warriors 13/10, Bulldogs 31/50

The Warriors have lost the last four games on the bounce and were soundly beaten 48-10 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend.

They have won just the five games all season, parted company with coach Nathan Brown some weeks ago and only the Wests Tigers and Gold Coast Titans sit below them on the ladder.

Even so there is still plenty to play for and now they are back playing in Auckland it is important to put on a show for the loyal supporters who have missed seeing them play.

The Warriors did put the Wests Tigers to the sword in their first game back at Mt Smart Stadium but then lost to the Melbourne Storm in their last game on home soil.

Another change will be made at five-eighth with Daejarn Asi set to play in the halves, while Viliami Vailea will play in the centres for the first time since round 12 when he suffered a broken jaw.

The Bulldogs appear to be a team on the up after winning four of the last seven games to start climbing the ladder.

Finals may be out of reach but they will still be keen to keep moving in the right direction. They were beaten 28-14 by North Queensland last weekend but were not completely outplayed by the Cowboys.

There are no major changes for the Bulldogs, but Tevita Pangai Jnr did not make the trip to New Zealand for family reasons. Raymond Faitala-Mariner will play at lock instead.

What: Parramatta Eels v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Where: CommBank Stadium, Sydney
When: 19:55 (AEST) Friday 12th August 2022
How to watch: Channel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Eels 27/20, Rabbitohs 3/5

It is arguably the game of the week in the NRL as the Eels and Rabbitohs jockey for position in the top eight.

The Eels can be tough to predict following some indifferent results this season but they have picked up back-to-back wins against the Penrith Panthers and Manly Sea Eagles and will be out to continue their good form.

They were without star No.7 Mitchell Moses last week but Jake Arthur did a great job when stepping in to provide cover and will take the jersey once again against the Rabbitohs.

Parramatta will be in for a tough test though as South Sydney are hitting their straps at just the right time with finals approaching.

The bunnies are in the mix for the top four also and have won five of the last six matches. They picked up a convincing win over the Warriors last week and confidence should be sky high going into the game.

Victory on Friday night would take them above Parramatta and into fifth spot on the ladder with just three games remaining.

The Rabbitohs are boosted by the return of forward Hame Sele who has recovered from a hamstring injury but there is no Thomas Burgess, who has served his one-match suspension only to pick up a groin injury.

Fullback Latrell Mitchell is bang in form for Souths after returning from injury and will be key to their chances of going far this season. His clash against Eels counterpart Clint Gutherson will be one to look forward to.

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