There is likely no secret formula to success, however the Sharks will be looking to recapture some ‘magic’ at the NRL’s showcase event when they tackle Souths at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
The Sharks were on the end of a heavy loss to the competition-leading Panthers last week, while Souths suffered a similar fate at the hands of the Melbourne Storm, with both sides looking for improved performances on a weekend where all 16 teams play at the same venue over the next three days.
The last time Magic Round was held, back in 2019, the Sharks opened he event with a Friday night match against the Titans, winning 26-18, however this time around they will need to get the job done without a handful of their high profile stars.
Losing Shaun Johnson with a hamstring issue midweek was a blow, and when added to a list of unavailable players which includes the injured Jesse Ramien, Braden Hamlin-Uele and the suspended Siosifa Talakai and the Sharks appear to have their work cut out.
Balancing out the ledger though will a similar casualty list affecting their opponents, with Souths missing fullback Latrell Mitchell, NSW Origin star Cameron Murray and centre Cambell Graham.
However this game might be more about who is playing than who isn’t, with Matt Moylan slotting into Johnson’s five eighth position and Josh Dugan returning and getting his chance to impress in the centres for the Sharks.
The game will also represent the first top grade appearance for 2021 of Andrew Fifita, the Grand Final-winning prop having just completed a four-game suspension handed down for an incident while playing for Newtown in the NSW Cup.
The Sharks go into the game aiming to avoid a sixth straight loss for the first time since 2014-15, while also hoping to improve on a record at Suncorp which shows they have won just seven of 21 matches. They have however won their past two at the Brisbane venue and five of their most recent eight.
Similarly, the Rabbitohs have struggled at Suncorp, registering eight wins from 22 games played.
In the overall head to head record between the two clubs the Sharks hold a narrow advantage, having won 46 games to 40 from Souths, with three draws.
Since 2015 these teams have traded wins and if the trend was to continue, the Sharks would come out on top this weekend.
The teams last met was in Round 1 of the 2020 season in a match won 22-18 by Souths at Stadium Australia.
The Sharks and Souths are scheduled to kick off at 5.30pm at Suncorp tomorrow night as the second of three NRL games on the day.
In team news, the Sharks have omitted Johnson and Jensen Taumeopeau from their 21 as selected on Tuesday. See the two 19-man squads listed below.
Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William KennedyFullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Cody Walker
Winger for Sharks is number 2 Mawene HirotiWinger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
Centre for Sharks is number 3 Josh DuganCentre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Dane Gagai
Centre for Sharks is number 4 Will ChambersCentre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Braidon Burns
Winger for Sharks is number 5 Connor TraceyWinger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Taane Milne
Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 14 Matt MoylanFive-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Benji Marshall
Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds
Prop for Sharks is number 8 Aiden TolmanProp for Rabbitohs is number 8 Thomas Burgess
Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke BraileyHooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron WoodsProp for Rabbitohs is number 10 Tevita Tatola
2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
Lock for Sharks is number 13 Toby RudolfLock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Liam Knight
Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Teig WiltonInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Mark Nicholls
Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack WilliamsInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Hame Sele
Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Andrew FifitaInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Jed Cartwright
Interchange for Sharks is number 18 Braydon TrindallInterchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Jai Arrow
Reserve for Sharks is number 19 Billy MagouliasReserve for Rabbitohs is number 19 Patrick Mago
- Referee: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Touch Judge: Darian Furner
- Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall