The Roosters will be taking another game to a non-traditional home venue as they get set for a clash with the Sharks at Central Coast stadium.

Last Time Out

The Sydney Roosters staged a miraculous comeback to narrowly prevail 25-24 over a determined Storm side missing their Origin stars. The Roosters were well off the mark for most of the match, trailing 20-6 at one point in the second half. In the end the class and experience of their senior players shone through as they trimmed a 12 point deficit down in the final 10 minutes to force the game into golden point. In the 84th minute Mitchell Pearce kicked a cracker of a long range field goal to record another momentous comeback victory for the Chooks.

The Cronulla Sharks put in an error prone performance against the Sea Eagles as they were walloped 18-35. A poor opening 25 minutes saw the Sea Eagles race out to an 18-0 lead before the Sharks scored two quick tries to go into the break trailing 12-19. There was to be no signature comeback in the second half though. An atrocious error count of 17 for the game and a completion rate of only 65% told the story for the Sharks. With young dummy half Jayden Brailey suffering a broken jaw during the match, it’s made the hooking situation for the Sharks look a little dire for the near future

Key Battle

The battle to hold on the football will be a key factor in this match. Both teams have put in absolutely rubbish games with their ball control lately. The team that completes their sets and is even just able to get to a kick will give themselves the best chance to come away with the victory.

To do that though it’ll come down to the classic battle of the forwards. Boyd Cordner and Sio Siua Taukeiaho will be missing for the Chooks who provide a lot of go forward for them. The likes of young guns like Ryan Matterson will need to step up while Aidan Guerra needs to rediscover his good form before it’s too late.

The Sharks will have a full strength forward pack available to them but their error and missed tackle count last week meant it counted for nothing. Andrew Fifita in particular had his quietest game of the season, being restricted to less than 80 running metres for the game.

If he comes out firing, the Roosters are in trouble but if their forwards repeat the efforts of last week, it’ll be different day, same story for the Sharks.

Prediction

It’s a hard match to call. The Roosters look the better team on paper but as they showed last week, that doesn’t guarantee anything. They will be missing two of their best forwards again and they were very fortunate to come away with that win against the Storm.

The Sharks will be looking to bounce back after a poor performance and they have a very good track record against the Roosters. However their problems in the Hooker position could prove to be too much of a loss for them to handle.

On the basis of the Sharks having won 6 out of their last 7 matches against the Roosters, I think they have it in them to cause an upset. Sharks by 6+

Sydney Roosters
1 Michael Gordon
2 Daniel Tupou
3 Latrell Mitchell
4 Joseph Manu
5 Blake Ferguson
6 Luke Keary
7 Mitchell Pearce
8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9 Jake Friend ©
10 Dylan Napa
11 Ryan Matterson
12 Mitchell Aubusson
13 Aidan Guerra
Interchange:
14 Isaac Liu
15 Zane Tetevano
16 Nat Butcher
17 Connor Watson
Reserves:
18 Kane Evans
19 Mitchell Cornish
20 Chris Smith
21 Victor Radley

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 Fa’amanu Brown
10 Matt Prior
11 Luke Lewis
12 Wade Graham
13 Paul Gallen ©
Interchange:
14 Jayson Bukuya
15 Chris Heighington
16 Kurt Capewell
17 Joseph Paulo
Reserves:
18 Sam Tagataese
19 Jeremy Latimore
20 Jesse Ramien
21 Edrick Lee