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These two clubs opened the NRL season with an eye-catching match in March - the Storm prevailing 26-18 at AAMI Park despite being outscored in the second half by the Rabbitohs.

Nine rounds in and there's still great interest around these two top-four sides as they try to not only out-manoeuvre each other but keep competition leaders Penrith in their sights as well.

The Storm enjoyed 62% possession last time but being on South Sydney territory at Stadium Australia it will be interesting to see if they can maintain that kind of dominance again.

The Storm lead the competition in tries (43) and line breaks (55) but the Rabbitohs score an average 29 points a game, making them an ever-present danger at any stage of a match.

The rundown

Team news

Rabbitohs: Cody Walker has been moved to fullback and rookie Dean Hawkins from the reserves list to five-eighth. Alex Johnson is back on the wing and Taane Milne was omitted 24 hours before the match.

Jed Cartwright replaces Jacob Host on the bench. Hame Sele is the 18th man while Troy Dargan and Milne were the two players left out on the eve of the match.

The Rabbitohs have won only three of their past 19 games against the Storm, while Johnston has scored 13 tries in his past 10 games at Stadium Australia.

Storm: Harry Grant will come off the bench with Brandon Smith starting at hooker and Tui Kamikamica playing at lock.

A groin injury has forced Tom Eisenhuth out of the team.

Chris Lewis joins the interchange, while Dean Ieremia is the 18th man. Aaron Pene was omitted an hour before kick-off after Eisenhuth and Ryley Jacks dropped out of the extended squad on Wednesday.

Prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona and winger George Jennings have been named to return from head knocks. Star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen (shoulder) is expected to return next week.

The Storm have scored 100 points in their past three games at Stadium Australia.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nicho Hynes
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 1 Alex Johnston
    Winger for Storm is number 2 George Jennings
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 2 Steven Marsters
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Braidon Burns
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 3 Dane Gagai
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 21 Dean Hawkins
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Benji Marshall
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes

Forwards

  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Thomas Burgess
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
    Hooker for Storm is number 13 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Tevita Tatola
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Jai Arrow
    Lock for Storm is number 15 Tui Kamikamica

Interchange

  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Mark Nicholls
    Interchange for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Liam Knight
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Dale Finucane
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Patrick Mago
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 18 Jed Cartwright
    Interchange for Storm is number 19 Chris Lewis

Reserves

  • Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 19 Hame Sele
    Reserve for Storm is number 18 Dean Ieremia

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

Damien Cook v Harry Grant: The incumbent Blues rake (Cooks) and likely Maroons hooker (Grant) get to have a close look at each other with the Ampol State of Origin Series only a month away.

Grant was promoted to starting hooker last week and looks set to be in the role at club and state level long term and he could eventually unseat Cook from the position at Test level.

Stat attack

Alex Johnston (11) and Josh Addo-Carr (9) are in the NRL top-four for line breaks. Johnston also has the jump on "The Fox" in tries with eight to the Storm flyer's five making the duel between these two wingers, as they search for points, all the more intriguing.

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