Craig Cauchi previews Thursday nights local derby between the Dragons and the Sharks.
St George Illawarra Dragons Vs Cronulla Sharks
Venue: WIN Stadium
Date: Thursday March 24, 8:05pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Cody Ramsey 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Moses Mbye 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Jack de Belin 15. Josh Kerr 16. Jackson Ford 17. Jack Gosiewski 18. Tautau Moga 19. Poasa Faamausili 20. Daniel Alvaro 21. Mathew Feagai 22. Jaiyden Hunt 23. Michael Molo 24. George Burgess
Jackson Ford and Jack Gosiewski have been named on the bench. Andrew McCullough is out of the side with an elbow injury. Moses Mybe will start at hooker. Tariq Sims – while promoted to the starting side in round 2 – has been named at lock.Embed from Getty Images
Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Connor Tracey 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Siosifa Talakai 13. Dale Finucane 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Braydon Trindall 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Luke Metcalf 19. Royce Hunt 20. Jack Williams 21. Lachlan Miller 22. Franklin Pele 23. Jenson Taumoepeau 24. Thomas Hazelton
Teig Wilton and Ronaldo Mulitalo will miss this match due to suspension and injury. Siosifa Talakai will start in the second row and Matt Ikuvalu has been named on the wing. Connor Tracey holds onto his centre position. Braydon Trindall returns from suspension while former Dragons skipper Cameron McInnes has been included on the bench.
Referee: Gerard Sutton
The local derby returns for 2022 and it’s set to be an explosive Thursday night encounter. The Sharks have started the year with two nail-biting matches and will enter this match with the world of confidence after defeating the Eels. The Dragons will rue their missed opportunities against the Panthers but will mainly be focused on reversing the recent trend against their rivals. The Sharks have won 5 of the past 6 matches and considering most of these games have been played at Kogarah Oval this is quite a considerable achievement. The Dragons will be doing everything to end this dominance.
Both sides will be pleased with their start to the year after 1 win and 1 loss. The Sharks attack is clicking into gear quite early in the season and will be delighted to have kept the Eels to only the 2 tries. The best word to use for the Dragons is they’ve been gutsy and it helped them grind out a win in week 1. There were signs, however; of ill-discipline and lack of cohesion in attack that cost them dearly against the Panthers. It’s that kind of form from the Dragons that will be giving the Sharks confidence to perform well.
Nicho Hynes and Ben Hunt are integral in being able to activate other players strengths. They both have strong running games and their battle will be one of many intriguing one-on-one contests across the park. The most exciting will be the match up between Moses Suli and Jesse Ramien. The Dragons centre, in Suli, has had a solid start to the year but he’ll have his hands full when he comes up against Ramien. Ramien’s year started off in great fashion with a try in the All Stars encounter. The first two rounds he has looked threatening on multiple occasions and at times on Saturday looked impossible to defend. Moses Suli can certainly match Ramien physically and can shift momentum through his sheer aggression.
This match kicks off multicultural round with a wide mix of cultures represented throughout both teams. The Sharks have embraced it throughout training this week, holding sessions for their own players to discuss their own heritage. This clash doesn’t usually need much to fire the players up but add into it a special week to celebrate the players own culture and it’s certainly stacking up for a fiery match on Thursday.
Indigenous All Star Josh Kerr notches up his 50th NRL match in this special round.
Sharks by 4
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