NRL match preview: Sharks vs Panthers

Date: Saturday 26th April
Venue: Remondis Stadium
Kick-off: 3.00pm



1 Michael Gordon 2 Sosaia Feki 3 Blake Ayshford 4 Ricky Leutele 5 Jonathan Wright 6 Todd Carney 7 Jeff Robson 8 Andrew Fifita 9 John Morris 10 Bryce Gibbs 11 Chris Heighington 12 Wade Graham 13 Paul Gallen (c)

14 Isaac De Gois 15 Tinirau Arona 16 Sam Tagataese 17 Siosaia Vave 20 Beau Ryan


1 Matt Moylan 2 David Simmons 3 Dean Whare 4 Jamal Idris 5 Josh Mansour 6 Jamie Soward 7 Peter Wallace (c) 8 Tim Grant 9 Kevin Kingston (c) 10 Brent Kite 11 Sika Manu 12 Elijah Taylor 13 Adam Docker

14 James Segeyaro 15 Jeremy Latimore 16 Tyrone Peachey 17 Nigel Plum 18 Matt Robinson


Cronulla were close to their best against the Roosters last Saturday night and fell agonisingly short of recording their second win of season 2014.

However they may face a greater task this weekend against a vastly improved Penrith side. Sitting inside a hotly contested top 8 , the Panthers have begun their 2014 campaign in impressive style and have defied their predicted ladder placing after 7 rounds.

Penrith possesses one of the most powerful backlines in the competition. With the speed of Matt Moylan , Josh Mansour and the undeniable strength and agility of centre Jamal Idris , the Sharks will need to be at their defensive best if they are to keep the Panthers formidable backline at bay.

The significant improvement in Cronulla’s attack last weekend was largely due to the guidance provided by the return of Captain Paul Gallen. This allowed Todd Carney in particular to focus his attacking brilliance on creating opportunities for the backline, as was showcased in Ricky Leutele’s standout performance.

If Cronulla are to emerge victorious Todd Carney’s playmaking ability will need to be utilised by the rest of the team. Gallens leadership and the continuing growth of Wade Graham will help lessen the load on the star five-eighth as they look to win their second game of the season.


Sharks by 8.

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