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2015 NRL Match Preview: Cronulla Sharks vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Date: Monday April 20, 2015

Venue: Remondis Stadium

Kick-Off: 7pm local

Cronulla Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes 2 Sosaia Feki 3 Gerard Beale 4 Ricky Leutele 5 Michael Gordon 6 Jack Bird 7 Jeff Robson 8 Sam Tagataese 9 Michael Ennis 10 Chris Heighington 11 Luke Lewis 12 Wade Graham 13 Paul Gallen. Interchange 14 Ben Barba 15 Anthony Tupou 16 Matt Prior 17 Jayson Bukuya 18 Tinirau Arona

South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1 Greg Inglis 2 Alex Johnston 3 Daryl Millard 4 Bryson Goodwin 5 Joel Reddy 6 Glenn Stewart 7 Luke Keary 8 George Burgess 9 Issac Luke 10 David Tyrrell 11 Chris Grevsmuhl 12 Chris McQueen 13 Jason Clark. Interchange 14 Ben Lowe 15 Nathan Brown 16 Tim Grant 17 Thomas Burgess 18 Cameron McInnes.

Preview

Cronulla are looking to take out another big scalp when they host South Sydney in the final round seven match of the National Rugby League.

The Shire team has put in a stunning form reversal from their last minute loss to the Titans in round four.  They trumped the high flying Sydney Roosters on their turf and followed up with a good win against Newcastle in wet conditions at Remondis last weekend.

Both Fifita brothers will miss the clash.  Andrew is out on suspension despite having a downgrade of his dangerous throw charge.  David has a cracked fibular which will have him sidelined for another five weeks. Sam Tagataese and Jayson Bukuya are their replacements with Tinirau Arona named the eighteenth man.  The talking point this week has been Paul Gallen’s future with the Sharks as fears grow he’s being squeezed out of the club.  A win for Cronulla will lift them above Penrith in twelfth spot on the ladder after their heavy defeat to the Gold Coast Titans.

South Sydney were last round losers to the red hot North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium.  Glenn Stewart is again named at five-eighth with Adam Reynolds and John Sutton both sidelined through injury.  There’s speculation Sutton may be a late inclusion in the Rabbitohs line-up despite being due back for next weekend’s clash with Canberra in Cairns.  A win here would see them move into third place with a superior for and against to the Broncos.

If the expected rain hits Sydney on Monday night this battle will be won through the forwards.  Gallen, Michael Ennis and Luke Lewis are quality players leading the charge for the Sharks.  George Burgess, Isaac Luke and Chris McQueen will make life difficult for the home side.  Greg Inglis is the likely game breaker for South Sydney while the experience of Michael Gordon will be vital for Cronulla if they are to get home with victory.

Prediction: I’m sticking with South Sydney in this game in a close one. Cronulla’s inexperienced back line in the wet could struggle against the defending premiers.  Rabbitohs by four.

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