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NRL: Trio in battle to make the eight

Newcastle Knights and South Sydney Rabbitohs meet in one of the games of the weekend on Sunday, with a place in the eight up for grabs.

Both sides are locked on 28 points, sitting in seventh and eighth respectively, and we are in for an exciting clash in the Hunter.

The Canberra Raiders sit just above them on the ladder but still have work to do to play finals. The green machine will be out to finish the season strongly and face Canterbury Bulldogs.

Canterbury have been very disappointing to say the least in 2023 but it is still all to play for as they attempt to build some momentum for next season.

Come the end of the day we will have a very good idea of who will be extending their season into the finals.

Knights target seven in a row

WhatNewcastle Knights v South Sydney Rabbitohs
WhereMcDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
When14:00 (AEST) Sunday 20th August, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsNewcastle Knights 2.20, South Sydney Rabbitohs 1.68

The Knights are on a roll after winning six games on the bounce, and with a huge crowd behind them, they will be confident of making it seven.

Not only are they winning, they are doing it in style, scoring points for fun, and can wrap up a place in the eight if they knock over the Bunnies.

Newcastle have a side packed with quality and Kalyn Ponga is at the top of his game. They are also boosted by the news that Jackson Hastings has been named to play.

Dominic Young has 21 tries in 19 games at McDonald Jones, and can be backed at 7.50 to grab the first try on Sunday.

The Rabbitohs are on a poor run of form and need to find it quickly if they are to secure a place in the eight. The last time they missed out was 2017.

Souths have lost four of the past seven games, but they have had to deal with plenty of travel, including trips to Perth and Cairns.

The short trip to Newcastle will be a boost, and they do have a good record against the Knights, winning 12 of the past 14 games against them.

The game could be tight, and Souths winning by 1-5 points can be backed at 7.00.

Raiders can lock in finals

The Raiders sit in sixth spot on the ladder, two points clear of Souths and Newcastle, but there is still work to be done.

They have a poor points differential, and not only do they need to beat the Bulldogs, they need to put on a big score.

Canberra have games against the Broncos and Sharks to come, so the clash with the Bulldogs remains their last chance to really improve the -120 points differential.

They can be backed at 9.00 to win by 26-30 points, and that would be ideal for them. The Bulldogs have conceded over 40 points in five of the last seven games, so it could be possible.

But it will not be easy against a Bulldogs side that are playing for pride and their futures. They have won just one game in the last four and that is well below what coach Cameron Ciraldo expects.

They have not won at GIO Stadium in eight years, so it is going to take a big effort to get the job done.

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