Chloe Schibeci previews the Thursday night game between the Sharks and the Cowboys
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Cronulla Sharks are struggling, losing their last five consecutive matches. Their conversion rate is letting them down, with four of five matches being decided by 1-2 points.
North Queensland Cowboys
The Cowboys have struggled this season, winning just 7 from 17. Last weekend they struggled with a loss against the Rabbitohs, however, won against the Roosters by three points the weekend before.
Josh Dugan will take the place of Matt Moylan who is struggling with a hamstring injury. Braden Hamlin-Uele has been named to start to replace Andrew Fifita, who is serving his one-match suspension. Josh Morris makes his return from injury.
Sharks’ Squad: 1. Josh Dugan, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Bronson Xerri, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Shaun Johnson, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Aaron Woods, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Paul Gallen, 14. Blayke Brailey, 15. Jack Williams, 16. Matt Prior, 17. Billy Magoulias, 18. Jayson Bukuya, 19. Kyle Flanagan, 20. Scott Sorensen, 21. Sione Katoa
North Queensland Cowboys
Cowboys coach Paul Green has named an unchanged 17 to play on Thursday night after their loss to the Rabbitohs last weekend.
Cowboys’ Squad: 1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Javid Bowen, 4. Tom Opacic, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. John Asiata, 7. Jake Clifford, 8. Josh McGuire, 9. Jake Granville, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Shane Wright, 13. Jason Taumalolo, 14. Coen Hess, 15. Matthew Scott, 16. Scott Bolton, 17. Francis Molo, 18. Peter Hola, 19. Reuben Cotter, 20. Corey Jensen, 21. Gideon Gela-Mosby
HEAD TO HEAD
The Sharks are dominant in the history between these two, winning the majority of their games over the last 20 years. The most recent match was earlier this year in round three, where the Sharks won 42 points to 16. Prior to that was another victory for Cronulla in 2018. Both the Cowboys and the Sharks have struggled this season, which will make for an interesting battle between the two sides.
There are a few key battles in this match between the Sharks and the Cowboys, one of which being Jason Taumalolo and Paul Gallen. Both are important and impactful players for their sides. Taumalolo is younger and therefore is likely to play more minutes, making a stronger impact on the Cowboys’ performance. Meanwhile, Gallen is physically incapable of playing many minutes, which can have an impact on Cronulla’s performance.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Thursday, July 25
Venue: PointsBet Stadium
Kick-off: 7:50 PM
Referee: Matt Cecchin, Jon Stone
WHO WILL WIN?
Both sides have struggled this season and will be looking for redemption on Thursday night. The Sharks have a home ground advantage, however, may not be enough come game time. The Cowboys will be hoping for a win after their loss to South Sydney last weekend. Cowboys by 4.