It’s a battle of the beaches when the Sea Eagles travel to Southern Cross Group Stadium in the hopes to claim victory over the Sharks. There are a few key battles that will make the match an interesting one, a great way to warp up the round on Sunday afternoon.

LAST TIME OUT

The Sharks had an incredibly lucky win against the Tigers last round, coming back in the dying minutes of the match to steal a win by two points. The side wasn’t entirely disappointing, however their kicking let them down; especially getting only two from five conversions, which ultimately would have allowed them to win by a stronger margin. Fans were left on the edges of their seats, and held their breath until the very end. Strategically, they were quite good, with a completion rate of over eighty per cent, however, their error count was still poor, as was their amount of conceded penalties. Paul Gallen was once again crucial in the Sharks’ side, and how they conducted themselves in order for them to win the match. It was a relatively strong effort, however there is still room for improvement before they come up against the Manly Sea Eagles on Sunday afternoon.

The Manly Sea Eagles had a bye last weekend, however the weekend before came up against the Newcastle Knights, and won as a result of a controversial bunker decision, however they still managed to win, all while maintaining an average completion rate, completing at seventy-one per cent, and making a significant amount of errors and conceded more penalties than the Knights, which made it a lucky win for the side. Newcastle came at their opposition with a lot of intensity, which evidently threw the Sea Eagles off, making it a closer game than they would have liked. Strategically they were poor, and need to make significant improvements before they take on the Sharks, particularly with regards to the amount of errors and penalties that the side concedes.

KEY BATTLE

Cherry-Evans and Maloney. Both are brilliant players and have been instrumental for their clubs, particularly this season. They are strategic in their attempts to play, which is invaluable to the wins that they are able to obtain for their clubs. It’s important for the halves to be one of, if not the best player on field, particularly when communicating. The halves are crucial to the ability of the rest of the spine to play fluently, which carries through the remainder of the team.

Valentine Holmes and Tom Trbojevic are also of high importance to their sides, with their incredible speed and agility that allows their sides to make the metres necessary so that they can build pressure and score points. Holmes will be backing up from an Origin debut, and Trbojevic is returning from an injury that sidelined him for a few weeks, which make this an interesting battle; to see how each player backs up from their breaks from club football.

PREDICTION

If Manly is given a strong start, they may just run away with it; therefore it is up to the Sharks to play a full eighty minute match in order for them to steal the two points over their opposition. It’s a Sharks home match, which will make build their confidence in the match, and possibly win. Manly need to step up from their match efforts a few weeks ago to be a chance of winning on Sunday afternoon. Sharks by 8.

SQUADS

Sunday 25 June, 4pm at Southern Cross Group Stadium

Cronulla Sharks

1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jack Bird 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Gerard Beale 6. James Maloney 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Chris Heighington 16. Kurt Capewell 17. Daniel Mortimer 18. Jeremy Latimore 19. Sam Tagataese 20. Joseph Paulo 21. Fa’amanu Brown

Manly Sea Eagles

1 Tom Trbojevic 2 Matthew Wright 3 Dylan Walker 4 Brian Kelly 5 Akuila Uate 6 Blake Green 7 Daly Cherry-Evans 8 Brenton Lawrence 9 Apisai Koroisau 10 Martin Taupau 11 Frank Winterstein 12 Curtis Sironen 13 Jake Trbojevic 14 Lewis Brown 15 Lloyd Perrett 16 Darcy Lussick 17 Addin Fonua-Blake 18 Jackson Hastings 19 Cameron Cullen 20 Jarrad Kennedy 21 Jonathan Wright