Souths eager to add to Eastwood’s misery on the road
Third placed Southern Districts play second placed Eastwood in a rematch of the 2014 grand final at Forshaw on Saturday.
Following last week’s wash-out, the Rebels have a tough week ahead and will play both of last year’s grand finalists and West Harbour in just eight days in a three game stretch that could define their season.
“It’s going to be really tough but it’s a great physical and mental challenge for us and something that I think we’ll take plenty out of going forward,” Souths coach Matt Barr said.
Eastwood got the better of the Rebels in terrible conditions back in round six and Barr said his side was eager to bounce back and begin to build momentum towards the finals.
“Out set piece will need to be strong to allow us to build pressure. They’re very dangerous with the ball in hand so our defensive structure and first up tackles will be crucial.”
Eastwood produced their best performance of the season to beat Sydney Uni in the wet last weekend and are building nicely towards the finals, however the reigning premiers have had trouble on the road this year.
The Woodies have leaked an average of more than 30 points a game in away matches, something they won’t be able to do against a talented Souths side.
“Away at Souths is one of the toughest games of the season. In the past two years, we’ve had some epic battles down there and I don’t think we’ve encountered a poor performance from them,” Stu Woodhouse told Rugby News.
“To beat Souths, we’ll need to limit the penalties in our half because Rohan (Saifoloi) is in good kicking form at the moment. They’re a very physical team, so we’ll need to stop their big ball runners to be any chance of winning.”
Eastwood are unchanged from last week.
Ladbrokes: Southern Districts – $1.91; Eastwood – $1.80
Southern Districts (1-15)
Matt Gibbon, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Duncan Chubb, Angus Ryan, Jake Douglas, Alex Perez, Sean Doyle, Rahboni Vosayaco, Dewet Roos, Mitch Walton, Ben Connolly, Rohan Saifoloi, Denny Godinet, Luke Smart, Chris Nay.
Sam Needs, Ed Craig, Rob Lagudi, James Neale, Tom Alexander, Michael Kovacic, Cohen Masson, George Kent, Matt Gonzalez, Jai Ayoub, Jarome MacKenzie, Blake Sutton, Mike McDougall, Ben Shorter, Johnathan Malo.