NRL SEMI-FINAL BETWEEN PARRAMATTA AND SOUTH SYDNEY
WHEN: Saturday, 7.50pm AEDT
WHERE: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
* Parramatta (third). Conceded 36 points against Melbourne last week and continue to leak points at an alarming rate. Belted 38-0 by Souths in round 16 last time these teams met.
* South Sydney (sixth). Backed up their 60-8 win over Melbourne to beat Newcastle 46-20 in Sunday’s elimination final. The Rabbitohs’ 349 points since round 12 is the most the club has amassed over a 10-week period.
* Overall: Played 128, Parramatta 55 wins, South Sydney 70 wins, 3 draws
* In finals: South Sydney 1 win, Parramatta 0 wins
* Last time: Round 16, 2020: South Sydney 38 bt Parramatta 0 at Bankwest Stadium
* Last week’s loss to the Storm means the 2019 58-0 thrashing of Brisbane remains Parramatta coach Brad Arthur’s only finals win from five matches.
* No-one has coached and won more finals matches than South Sydney’s Wayne Bennett with 35 victories from 69 games.
Adam Reynolds (South Sydney) v Mitchell Moses (Parramatta)
Reynolds demolished the Eels in round 16 with one try, five goals, one linebreak, three linebreak assists and two try assists in the 38-0 hiding at Bankwest Stadium. Moses, playing his 150th NRL game, will have to produce on the big stage to match it with Reynolds if the Eels are to avoid another blowout.
Campbell Graham (South Sydney) v Waqa Blake (Parramatta)
Blake’s defending has been in the spotlight with the Eels conceding 46 per cent of their tries down the right edge. In contrast Souths’ left edge attack is their most potent weapon with Blake’s opposite number Campbell Graham a key part of that. Graham scored two tries when these sides met in August and has 10 tries in his past eight matches, scoring at least one try in all but one of these games.
Damien Cook (South Sydney) v Reed Mahoney (Parramatta)
Mahoney faced up to Melbourne champion Cameron Smith last weekend and the task doesn’t get any easier this Saturday when he goes head-to-head with NSW incumbent No.9 Cook. Mahoney could only clock up 12 running metres when the Eels were flogged by the Rabbitohs in round 16 while Cook had four tackle busts, one offload and a linebreak in the 38-0 win.
* The third-placed team have won all three second-week finals matches against the sixth seed since the new finals format was introduced in 2012.
* Since Round 12, Souths have scored the most points at just under 35 per game while the Eels are scoring just over 16.
* Rabbitohs by 16