This round 20 clash sees the Cronulla Sharks host the South Sydney Rabbitohs at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday night.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Had the Sharks not secured a last-minute victory against the North Queensland Cowboys in round 19, they would have been staring down the barrel of six straight losses. Given that a spot in the top eight is still achievable, the Sharks will be looking to win this week to press their claim.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
An incredible win against the St. George IlIawarra Dragons elevated the Rabbitohs to second place on the NRL ladder. As they look to the finals, no doubt the first placed Melbourne Storm are in their sights.
The return of Matt Moylan (hamstring), Wade Graham (hamstring) and Andrew Fifita (suspension) is timely for the Sharks. Resultantly, Josh Dugan shifts to the wing while Luke Capewell reverts to the interchange bench. Blayke Brailey and Billy Magoulias have been dropped to the reserves.
Cronulla Sharks squad:
1 Matt Moylan, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Broncos Xerri, 4 Josh Dugan, 5 Josh Morris, 6 Shaun Johnson, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Briton Nikora, 12 Wade Graham, 13 Paul Gallen. Interchange: 14 Kurt Capewell, 15 Jack Williams, 16 Andrew Fifita, 17 Braden Hamlin-Uele. Reserves: 18 Billy Magoulias, 19 Blayke Brailey, 20 Ronaldo Mulitalo, 21 Kyle Flanagan.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
The inclusion of Sam Burgess (shoulder infection) pushes Ethan Lowe to the interchange bench. Liam Knight has been named to return from suspension.
South Sydney Rabbitohs squad:
1 Adam Doueihi, 2 Dane Gagai, 3 James Roberts, 4 Braidon Burns, 5 Campbell Graham, 6 Cody Walker, 7 Adam Reynolds, 8 Tevita Tatola, 9 Damien Cook, 10 Thomas Burgess, 11 John Sutton, 12 Sam Burgess, 13 Cameron Murray. Interchange: 14 Liam Knight, 15 Mark Nicholls, 16 Ethan Lowe, 17 Kyle Turner. Reserves: 18 Connor Tracey, 19 Corey Allan, 20 Jaydn Su’A, 21 Dean Britt.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Sharks will give themselves the best chance to secure victory if they execute for the duration of the match. Strong defensive pressure is imperative if they are to restrict the go-forward of the Rabbitohs. Given the power and unpredictability within the Sharks’ team, an upset is possible if they can dominate the Rabbitohs’ forward pack and limit their opportunity for offloads.
For the Rabbitohs, execution is vital; whether it be capitalising on open space or converting goals. Getting the ball to their monster forward pack early in the match will set the tone and give the Rabbitohs the best opportunity to mount pressure and take advantage of the Sharks’ vulnerable edge defence.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: 3 August 2019
Venue: PointsBet Stadium
Kick-off: 7:35 pm (AEST)
WHO WILL WIN?
Whilst the Sharks will be eager to keep their finals aspirations in tact, expect the Rabbitohs to pounce and reign victorious on this occasion.