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The Roosters Crow: Finals Starts at Home

The Sydney Roosters claimed an emphatic victory against South Sydney last Friday to open Allianz Stadium, but they'll need to replicate that in order to continue their finals run or face an early exit. 

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

It's not the first time that the Roosters and Rabbitohs face one another in back-to-back weeks - Roosters Members and supporters will only have to cast their eyes back to 2019 in what was a memorable victory.

The Tricolours were defeated by their opponents in the final round of the season, but bounced back in style in a 30-6 demolition job at the Sydney Cricket Ground to earn a well-deserved week off en route to their Premiership triumph. 

Last week saw the Roosters mark the opening of Allianz Stadium with an emphatic 26-16 victory, but it's all on the line this weekend as the finals series kicks off. 

Round 25 Highlights: Roosters vs Rabbitohs

How They Line Up

Trent Robinson's side has a number of changes following the 26-16 victory, with Daniel Tupou, Joseph Suaalii and Victor Radley returning in a massive boost for the Tricolours. 

Captain James Tedesco lines up at fullback, Tupou returns to the wing with Paul Momirovski and Drew Hutchison lining up in the centres and Suaalii on the right flank. 

Luke Keary and Sam Walker once again line up in the halves, while the front row features Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sam Verrills and Siosiua Taukeiaho who retains his starting spot. 

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Paul Momirovski
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Isaiah Tass
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Drew Hutchison
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Campbell Graham
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Taane Milne
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary
    Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
    Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Lachlan Ilias


  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita Tatola
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Sam Verrills
    Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Roosters is number 17 Matthew Lodge
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Mark Nicholls
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jai Arrow
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
    Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray


  • Interchange for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Kodi Nikorima
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Connor Watson
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Hame Sele
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Egan Butcher
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Thomas Burgess
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Kevin Naiqama
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Siliva Havili


  • Replacement for Roosters is number 16 Adam Keighran
  • Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 21 Michael Chee Kam

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

The back row of Angus Crichton and Nat Butcher maintain their partnership, with Radley slotting back into the side with the no.13 jersey on his back.

On the interchange bench, Connor Watson is joined by Egan Butcher, Adam Keighran and Lodge, with the extended bench featuring Kevin Naiqama, Terrell May, Oliver Gildart, Fletcher Baker and Siua Wong. 

South Sydney have a returning duo in Damien Cook and Campbell Graham, while their captain Cameron Murray has been named despite being taken off the field for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) last start. 

Key Match Up: Sam Walker vs Lachlan Ilias

Both in their early 20s, Sam Walker and Lachlan Ilias, much like their respective teams, have grown throughout 2022 to solidify a spot in the NRL finals series.

Walker has been a constant threat with the ball for the Tricolours, scoring seven tries, assisting fifteen, making ten linebreak assists and forcing sixteen drop outs in a stellar second year in the top grade.

In his rookie season, the recently re-signed Ilias has been a solid contributor for the Rabbitohs in the no.7 jersey, scoring four tries, laying on a further eleven, assisting in eleven linebreaks and forcing fifteen drop outs to boot. 

We all know the likes of James Tedesco, Luke Keary, Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker will have their own personal battles, but keep an eye on these two young playmakers to make the difference. 

What They Said: 

"There would be nothing more rewarding than leaving with another ring and leaving on a high as well. I’m pretty excited for this week and this finals series and I’m ready to empty the tank these next couple of weeks." - Siosiua Taukeiaho

“We’ve played some pretty good footy over the last couple of months and it’s obviously good to be here but there’s a fair bit of work to be done now.” - Luke Keary

“The belief never changed for us. We were always confident we’d be here in September and we’ve worked really hard to get here but that doesn’t mean anything until we get out there this weekend and put on our best performance.” - Sam Walker

Final Verdict

Everything is on the line on Sunday afternoon and for both teams, a first-week exit from the 2022 NRL finals will be a disappointment. 

The Tricolours will be buoyed by last week's win but will need to go up another gear in order to progress through and continue their hot streak - and we all know what our opponents will bring to the table. 

For the Love of the Game

With plenty of benefits including priority to purchase finals tickets, merchandise discounts as well as the best seating at Allianz Stadium, be sure to Call Yourself a Rooster in 2023 with Sydney Roosters Membership!



Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.