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2021 NRL Round Seven Preview, Sharks Vs Bulldogs

Matt Atard previews the Saturday evening clash between Cronulla-Sutherland and Canterbury-Bankstown. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney, Date: Saturday April 24, Time: 5:30pm

Sharks Team

1. Will Kennedy
2. Mawene Hiroti
3. Josh Dugan
4. Jesse Ramien
5. Connor Tracey
6. Matt Moylan
7. Chad Townsend
8. Braden Hamlin-Uele
9. Blayke Brailey
10. Aaron Woods
11. Briton Nikora
12. Teig Wilton
13. Toby Rudolf
14. Billy Magoulias
15. Shaun Johnson
16. Jack Williams
17. Siosifa Talakai
18. Braydon Trindall
19. Wll Chambers
20. Franklin Pele
21. Jenson Taumoepeau

Team Changes

IN: Jenson Taumoepeau
Josh Dugan
Shaun Johnson
Will Chambers


OUT: Aiden Tolman

Bulldogs Team

1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
2. Nick Cotric
3. Will Hopoate
4. Corey Allan
5. Tuipulotu Katoa
6. Jake Averillo
7. Kyle Flanagan
8. Dylan Napa
9. Sione Katoa
10. Luke Thompson
11. Adam Elliott
12. Chris Smith
13. Corey Waddell
14. Bradley Deitz
15. Renouf Atoni
16. Ava Seumanufagai
17. Matt Doorey
19. Lachlan Lewis
20. Joe Stimson
21. Nick Meaney
23. Ofahiki Ogden

Team Changes

IN: Ava Seumanufagai
Bradley Deitz
Joe Stimson
Lachlan Lewis
Matt Doorey
Nick Meaney


OUT:
Aaron Schoupp
Jack Hetherington
Jackson Topine

Referee: Chris Butler

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Sharks

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They’ve lost their coach and their premiership winning half-back in successive weeks, however they showed up against Newcastle last week and almost got the win. A resilient side with plenty of grit, the Sharks have had a rough month or so off the field with rumours and apparent management issues.

That hasn’t stopped the players from playing to their potential; they’re just lacking some polish at the end of games. No doubt they’ll score an easy win here against opponents who don’t look like they belong in the NRL.

Bulldogs

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There aren’t enough words in the English language to adequately describe the mess that is the Bulldogs on the field. They look like a pub football side who just met that morning.

Abysmal attack with no direction, predictability aplenty, soft defence without hunger, no passion for the jersey, and no pride for their club. It may sound savage, but it’s the truth. There are currently 10 players, give or take a player, who should not be in first grade. It’s the unfortunate place the Bulldogs find themselves in and it’s up to individuals to step up and start producing, especially as they play for a contract.

PREVIEW

Cronulla have been solid without being extraordinary while the Bulldogs have been horrendous without being even remotely impressive.

Last week the Sharks should have beaten the Knights in what was a brutal and entertaining contest, while the Bulldogs should have taken care of a very poor Cowboys outfit (who made 15 errors). Alas, they barely looked like a football team bar a 15-minute period after Jack Hetherington was sent off.

Cronulla will take a lot out of their last two matches: both games they led and let slip. They’ll continue their solid performances with a big win here.

KEY STAT

The Bulldogs, surprisingly, have been completing at above 80 per cent in their last two games. It’s what the stats don’t show that is key – their inability to muster anything more than a one-out run for a back rower followed by a woeful up and under to end their sets. Sometimes, not even that.

On the other hand, Cronulla are making minimal errors and look composed with ball in hand. Chad Townsend has shown why the Cowboys splashed big money to lure him north and fullback Will Kennedy is having a breakout season.

PREDICTION

Well, this is an easy one.

Sharks by 30.

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