When the 2021 draw dropped, the Rabbitohs and Roosters would have circled one particular game: This Friday’s blockbuster battle.
Sure, they faced off in Round 3, but there’s nothing like a clash with your arch-rivals in the second last round of the regular season to gauge where you’re truly at ahead of finals.
Except Roosters coach Trent Robinson probably thought during pre-season he’d be fielding his strongest line-up, give or take perhaps one, maybe two players that might have needed a rest.
But this week, Robinson couldn’t even name a 21-man squad. He named 20, with Lachie Lam — a half — in the centres, Ben Marschke — a guy that started the year in the Ron Massey Cup — in the No.14 jersey and Brad Abbey — a train and trial player — on the wing to play his first NRL game since 2018.
Such is the nature of the Roosters’…