The Cronulla Sharks are going to be out to make it three wins in a row as they take on the Sydney Roosters at Shark Park.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
In what was a torrid and frustrating match to watch as a spectator, the Sharks kept the Storm try-less in a 14-4 victory that had over 30 penalties blown for the match. For the 2nd week in a row, the Sharks scored just one try and relied on penalty goals to stretch out the scoreline further.
It was an ugly win in signature Sharks fashion and while their attack hasn’t clicked yet, they have set a strong defensive standard.
After posting some commanding wins over the Bulldogs and Knights, it looked as if the Roosters were back on track with their season. However their encounter with the Warriors brought all of that to a grinding halt.
The Roosters looked disinterested and unmotivated against a Warriors side missing Shaun Johnson. They were towelled up 30-6 and left searching for answers.
Josh Dugan and Matt Moylan return to the side while Edrick Lee and Trent Hodkinson return to the reserves. The Sharks have played well with Hodkinson in the halves who has offered a steady, controlling influence on the side. While they are two from two with him, they have struggled to score tries so how Moylan’s return affects them in that department remains to be seen.
The coach has decided to stick with the same 17 that went down to the Warriors. Despite a horrendous showing, Reece Robinson has kept his place on the wing in Daniel Tupou’s absence. While one bad game may not warrant a dropping, the lack of experienced depth in the outside backs leaves little choice in the matter and exposes the downside of the Roosters star studded lineup.
The Roosters and their own self-discipline. The Sharks have taken full advantage of the referees crackdown on essentially everything and have kicked their way to victory the last two weeks, being gifted 8 points in penalty goals in each game.
If the Roosters carry on with more of the same then the Sharks aren’t going to need to worry about their attack too much if their opposition is handing them the game.
Matt Moylan has yet to win a game with the Sharks. While four games isn’t indicative of whether or not they play better without him, the team has struggled to adapt to his dynamic style of play. After a fortnight out of the team, it won’t be a seamless transition back but regardless the quality of his performance is likely to be a contributing factor in how well the Sharks play. If his forwards give him the time and space to
James Tedesco has yet to deliver consistently on the million dollar price-tag the Roosters paid for. Glimpses of brilliance have been there but for the most part he’s been unable to make his destructive mark in attack and has been sketchy in defence. Much like Moylan, it’ll take time for Tedesco to gel completely with his new side but they need him to start delivering and soon. If he puts in a good performance against the Sharks with a high running metre tally then it’s likely that the Roosters are going to follow suit.
The Sharks have won 6 out of their last 7 clashes against the Roosters.
1 Josh Dugan, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jesse Ramien, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Valentine Holmes, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Luke Lewis, 12 Wade Graham (c), 13 Paul Gallen (c)
Interchange: 14 Kurt Capewell, 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Ava Seumanufagai, 17 Joseph Paulo
Reserves: 18 Trent Hodkinson, 19 Kurt Dillion, 20 Edrick Lee, 21 Jack Williams
1 James Tedesco, 2 Reece Robinson, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Dylan Napa, 11 Boyd Cordner (c), 12 Ryan Matterson, 13 Isaac Liu
Interchange: 14 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Mitchell Aubusson, 17 Victor Radley
Reserves: 18 Nat Butcher, 19 Kurt Baptiste, 20 Mitchell Cornish, 21 Lindsay Collins
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 6th April
Venue: Southern Cross Group Stadium
WHO WILL WIN?