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NRL: Souths wary of wounded Bulldogs

South Sydney Rabbitohs need to see off the Canterbury Bulldogs on Saturday night to keep their NRL top-four hopes alive.

The Bunnies sit in seventh spot on the ladder and are just a couple of points away from the top four, and just four points away from Penrith at the top.

But the ladder is that tight, the Gold Coast Titans down in 10th spot, remain well in the mix.

The Bulldogs on the other hand are in trouble at the wrong end of the ladder and confidence will be low after they suffered a humiliating loss at the weekend.

Making the top eight now looks to be off the menu and avoiding the wooden spoon will be the main aim.

They need a big response at Accor Stadium, and South Sydney will have to be on their guard.

WhatSouth Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs
WhereAccor Stadium, Sydney
When19:35 (AEST) Saturday 8th July, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsSouth Sydney Rabbitohs 1.54, Canterbury Bulldogs 2.50

Souths missing Origin stars

Souths returned to winning ways last week when they picked up a big 28-6 victory against the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland last weekend.

It is just what they needed after suffering back-to-back defeats, but they will need more if they are to challenge at the top end of the ladder.

It is not that long ago that Souths were looking like the biggest threat to the Panthers in 2023, but a shocking run of form has seen them slip down the ladder.

However the win over the in-form Warriors should give them a lift heading into the game.

Cody Walker was outstanding against the Warriors but Souths will be without him against the Bulldogs following his call up to State of Origin.

Souths will also be missing fellow Origin stars Cameron Murray, Damien Cook and Keaon Koloamatangi, so the fringe players will need to step up.

It is the loss of Walker that could be the biggest blow as they have won just three from the 11 games played without him.

Luckily for them, they still have star winger Alex Johnston, who has scored 11 tries in his past seven games against the Bulldogs.

Johnston is priced at 6.00 to grab the first try of the game.

Bulldogs need to bounce back

It has been another tough season for the Bulldogs and the 66-0 defeat to the Newcastle Knights on home soil would have been very hard to take.

New coach Cameron Ciraldo will be demanding a response from his players, but their record against Souths in recent years has been poor to say the least.

The Bulldogs have lost the last five meetings between the two sides and it will take something special to get the job done.

Accor Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground either. They have played seven games there this season and have managed just two wins. The Rabbitohs on the other hand have won four from seven.

Canterbury will also be without star winger Josh Addo-Carr, who is on State of Origin duty, but they will hand a debut to new signing Toby Sexton.

The playmaker only signed from the Gold Coast Titans earlier in the week and will jump straight into the No.7 jersey, with Matt Burton taking the No.6.

If the Bulldogs are to take a surprise win, it is likely to be tight, and they can be backed at 7.00 to win by 1-5 points.

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