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PREVIEW | Cronulla Sharks vs Parramatta Eels

The Cronulla Sharks will host the Parramatta Eels at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Saturday night in their second clash of the season. 

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Cronulla Sharks

In the last two weeks, the Sharks have narrowly defeated their opponents. Their performance against the Panthers in round seven was one of their best so far this season. Last round they traveled to the Gold Coast and won against the Titans by a field goal. The match wasn’t entertaining to watch, however, the Sharks were gritty and didn’t give up, despite their injury toll increasing by the end of the match with Josh Dugan being sidelined for four to six weeks. 

Parramatta Eels

The Eels have won their last two matches, their first victories of the season. Their first was against Manly in round seven when they won by a convincing 34 points in their best performance of the season. Last round, the Eels had a narrow victory against the Wests Tigers last Sunday afternoon, defeating their opponents 24 points to 22. Parramatta’s performances have been improving significantly in recent weeks.

SQUAD NEWS

Cronulla Sharks

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has made a number of changes have been made to this weekend’s line up against Parramatta Eels. Josh Dugan has been sidelined for four to six weeks after breaking his foot in last week’s match. This injury has shuffled Valentine Holmes to fullback, and Sosaia Feki has returned to the wing after being left out for the last few weeks. Wade Graham has been introduced into the starting side after being sidelined for two weeks due to a hamstring complaint. 

Parramatta Eels

Brad Arthur has made just one change to his side after their victory against the Tigers last weekend. Tony Williams injured his ACL and has been ruled out for the rest of the season, which brings Tepai Moeroa back into the side. The Parramatta Eels’ side is otherwise unchanged leading into their second match against the Sharks for the 2018 season. 

PREVIEW

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The Cronulla Sharks won their first match for 2018 against the Parramatta Eels, and have since won three other matches. The Parramatta Eels have won their last two matches, one against Manly and the other against the Tigers. Both sides have improved significantly since their first meeting in round three. 

The Cronulla Sharks have narrowly won their matches, with the margins ten points or less. The Eels won their first match by a significant margin, while their second was just by two points. Both sides have displayed quality football in recent weeks, particularly the Eels in their match against the Manly Sea Eagles. 

Saturday night’s clash between the Sharks and the Eels will be played at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Cronulla. The first match between these two sides was in round three at ANZ Stadium, where the Sharks won by ten. It was an entertaining match, however considering the improvements these sides have made in recent weeks, the quality of the match is expected to be of a higher standard. 

The match in Cronulla on Saturday night will be an entertaining battle, with both sides looking to further improve their performances to continue their respective winning streaks. 

KEY STAT

The history between these two clubs is relatively even however of the eighty-four matches they have played together, the Sharks have won forty-five of them, and twenty-two of the thirty-six played in Cronulla. 

SQUADS

Cronulla Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jesse Ramien, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Edrick Lee, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Kurt Capewell, 12 Wade Graham (c), 13 Joseph Paulo Interchange: 14 Jayson Bukuya, 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Avagalu Seumanufagai, 17 Scott Sorensen 18 Kurt Dillion, 19 Jack Williams, 20 Trent Hodkinson, 21 Braden Uele 

Parramatta Eels: 1 Clint Gutherson (c), 2 Bevan French, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Takairangi, 5 George Jennings, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Kaysa Pritchard, 10 Suaia Matagi, 11 Manu Ma’u, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Peni Terepo Interchange: 14 Will Smith, 15 Kenny Edwards, 16 David Gower, 17 Tim Mannah (c) 18 Cameron King, 19 Beau Scott, 20 Josh Hoffman, 21 Marata Niukore

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Saturday 5th May
Venue: Southern Cross Group Stadium
Kick-off: 7:55pm (AEDT)

WHO WILL WIN?

This match is important for both the Sharks and the Eels, particularly the Eels who are desperate to get off the bottom of the ladder. Both sides have improved significantly in recent weeks, however still have a lot to prove respectively. It will be a tough game for both sides. Sharks by 4. 

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