NRL match preview: Cronulla Sharks vs Canberra Raiders

Date: Sunday August 24th
Venue: Remondis Stadium
Kick-off: 2pm

Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Jonathan Wright, Ricky Leutele, Valentine Holmes, Fa’amanu Brown, Jeff Robson, Tim Robinson, Michael Lichaa, Matt Prior, Chris Heighington, Anthony Tupou, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: Pat Politoni, Junior Roqica, Tupou Sopoaga, Blake Ayshford, Sione Masima

Jack Wighton, Bill Tupou, Jarrod Croker, Jeremy Hawkins, Edrick Lee, Anthony Milford, Josh McCrone, Shannon Boyd, Glen Buttriss, Dane Tilse, Josh Papalii, Jarrad Kennedy, Joel Edwards. Interchange: Mitch Cornish, Matt McIlwrick, Kyle O’Donnell, Paul Vaughan

Thinking back to the opening rounds of the 2014 season not many would have predicted the round 24 clash between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canberra Raiders would be a play off for the wooden spoon.‏

A lack-lustre season, filled with injuries and off field dramas has seen the Sharks slip to the bottom of the ladder with a poor 5/25 record in 2014.

The sacking of Todd Carney and the constant injury disruptions however has had some positive impacts on the side, with many up and coming talent making their first grade debuts.

Fa’amanu Brown has impressed after taking over the five-eighth role from Carney as well as young winger Valentine Holmes becoming a go to player in attack for the Sharks.

The Raiders likewise have had a disappointing season. Sitting equal on points with the Sharks , Canberra’s season hasn’t come close to reaching pre-season expectations.

Lead by the often criticised coach Ricky Stuart , the Raiders have failed to produce any sort of good form in 2014 and as a result find themselves fighting to avoid the spoon.

Home ground advantage may play the biggest part in this match , with both teams in reflectively weak form. With the speed and natural attacking skill of Valentine Holmes , the Sharks may just claim a victory against the Raiders and reverse the current standings at the bottom of the ladder.

Sharks by 6.

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