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NRL Match Preview

PREVIEW | Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks vs Penrith Panthers

Cronulla Sharks will host the Penrith Panthers on Sunday afternoon at Southern Cross Group Stadium for an entertaining match.

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Cronulla Sharks

With just two wins under their belt this season, the Cronulla Sharks are struggling to find a rhythm that will work for them this season. The Dragons hosted Cronulla in the second local derby of 2018 and left the Sharks win-less for the fourth time this season. The constant shuffling of the players in the side has created an inability to stabilise the team and win games early in the year.

Penrith Panthers

The Panthers have been hard to fault this year, losing just one game so far in 2018 back in round three against the Bulldogs. Last Sunday afternoon they hosted the Gold Coast Titans, winning by twenty-three points in a strong display. The side has lost Nathan Cleary due to injury, however newcomer James Maloney has taken control of the side which has been working well for the team.

SQUAD NEWS

Cronulla Sharks

It was a “bad day at the office” for the Sharks last Friday night when they lost Andrew Fifita, Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Luke Lewis throughout the game due to injury. Fifita and Lewis have been named in the starting side, however, there is still doubt surrounding them playing. Matt Moylan has been moved back to the halves and Dugan back to fullback. Sosaia Feki has once again been left out of the side and Scott Sorensen is likely to make first 2018 appearance for the club on Sunday afternoon.

Penrith Panthers

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is making his return to the starting side on the wing, replacing Josh Mansour who last week suffered a fractured cheekbone. Isaah Yeo has been moved from the centres, swapping round six positions with Corey Harawira-Naera who wore the number twelve against the Titans. The starting side and interchange bench are otherwise unchanged following the Panthers’ victory against the Titans last Sunday.

PREVIEW

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In the final game of round seven, the Cronulla Sharks return to Southern Cross Group Stadium after a loss to the Dragons at WIN Stadium. They will host the Penrith Panthers, who have lost just one game this season, hoping to put on an impressive performance in front of a home crowd.

This will be the first time James Maloney has made his way back to Cronulla after leaving the club at the end of the 2017 season in a direct swap with Matt Moylan. Maloney has taken control of his new club and has had a strong influence on their performances this season. Moylan has been shuffling between the halves and fullback and has been struggling to find his place in the team, though has had influence and played well in recent weeks.

The Sharks have had opportunities to win games this season, however, haven’t managed to get there. They will be hoping to get a win in front of a home crowd getting their third win of the season. The Panthers have been one of the best teams this season and will no doubt attempt to give the Sharks a tough time so that Penrith can keep up with their winning ways.

Fans will be excited to see and compare the halves combinations from both sides particularly because of the Maloney/Moylan off-season swap.

KEY STAT

Cronulla is dominant in the history of these two clubs, winning eight games of the last eleven where the Sharks and the Panthers have met.

SQUADS

Cronulla Sharks: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Edrick Lee 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. Kurt Capewell 13. Joseph Paulo INTERCHANGE 14. Scott Sorensen 15. James Segeyaro 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. Kurt Dillon

Penrith Panthers: 1.Dylan Edwards 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Corey Harawira-Naera 4. Dean Whare 5. Christian Crichton 6. Tyrone Peachey 7. James Maloney 8. Trent Merrin 9. Peter Wallace 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Isaah Yeo 13. James Fisher-Harris INTERCHANGE 14. Sione Katoa 15. Kaide Ellis 16. Moses Leota 17. James Tamou

 

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Sunday, April 22

Venue: Southern Cross Group Stadium

Time: 4:10 PM

 

WHO WILL WIN?

It’ll be an entertaining match between the two sides. Cronulla has a lot to play for and prove, while the Panthers wish to simply continue with their winning ways. Panthers by 10.

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