Chloe Schibeci previews the Saturday night clash between the Cronulla Sharks and Sydney Roosters at newly named PointsBet Stadium.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Sharks suffered their second loss of the season against the Parramatta Eels last Saturday night. They played well considering the injuries they had suffered in the week leading up to the game, however they will benefit from the return of Johnson and Gallen this weekend for their important clash against the Roosters.
The Roosters had a very convincing win over the Brisbane Broncos last Thursday night, winning by 32 points. It was their third win of the season, placing them in second place on the NRL ladder. The Roosters will be looking to claim their fourth consecutive win, both this season and against the Sharks.
Aaron Woods will be sidelined for three months after suffering a broken foot last weekend. Johnson and Gallen are due to return after being ruled out during final preparations for their clash against the Eels. Scott Sorensen has been named to play in place of Woods.
Cronulla 21-Man Squad: 1. Josh Dugan, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Bronson Xerri, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Sione Katoa, 6. Shaun Johnson, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Paul Gallen,14. Blayke Brailey, 15. Jayson Bukuya, 16. Jack Williams, 17. Scott Sorensen, 18. Kyle Flanagan, 19. William Kennedy, 20. Braden Uele, 21. Aaron Gray.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been named after missing last weekend’s match against the Broncos. Angus Crichton has been named to start while Mitchell Aubusson has been moved to the interchange. The side is otherwise unchanged.
Sydney Roosters’ 21-Man Squad: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Matt Ikuvalu, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Victor Radley, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Angus Chrichton, 13. Isaac Liu,14. Lindsay Collins, 15. Zane Tetevano, 16. Poasa Faamausili, 17. Mitchell Aubusson, 18. Nat Butcher, 19. Sitili Tupouniua, 20. Sam Verrills, 21. Lachlan Lam.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Roosters have won six of their last fifteen matches against the Sharks, including the last three. The last time they met was in the finals series last year, where the Roosters won by nine, sending the Sharks to a sudden death match the following week. The Sharks will be looking to bounce back from their loss against the Eels, while the Roosters are hoping to continue their winning streak.
Chad Townsend has been one of Cronulla’s best this season and has been working well with new recruit Shaun Johnson, who will be back to play this weekend. It will be interesting to see how they match up against Roosters halves Luke Keary and Cooper Cronk. Bronson Xerri impressed in his NRL debut last weekend and has kept his position in the starting side. He will be up against Latrell Mitchell, which will be an entertaining match up.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday, 13 April
Venue: PointsBet Stadium
Kick-off: 7:35 PM
Referee: Matt Cecchin, Phil Henderson
WHO WILL WIN?
If the Sharks are able to limit their errors and maintain a completion rate similar to last round, this could be an exciting match. The Sharks have a good side and the potential to cause an upset, however the Roosters have been playing well in recent weeks, and could be difficult to defeat.
Roosters by four.