Rhys Sullivan previews a clash between two teams featuring a bunch of entertainers.
Cronulla Sharks vs New Zealand Warriors
Venue: Pointsbet Stadium
Date: Sunday May 8, 4:05pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aiden Tolman 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane 14. Jack Williams 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Wade Graham 17. Royce Hunt 18. Braydon Trindall 19. Andrew Fifita 20. Luke Metcalf 21. Mawene Hiroti 22. Connor Tracey 23. Matt Ikuvalu 24. Franklin Pele
Dale Finucane is named to return after being a late scratch last week, with Braydon Trindall dropping back to 18th man. Aiden Tolman has been named to start at prop but could switch with Royce Hunt as they have done for the last 2 weeks.Embed from Getty Images
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Viliami Vailea 4. Rocco Berry 5. Adam Pompey 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Euan Aitken 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Jazz Tevaga 14. Jack Murchie 15. Ben Murdock-Masila 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Aaron Pene 18. Bayley Sironen 20. Taniela Otukolo 21. Edward Kosi 22. Junior Ratuva 23. Pride Petterson-Robati 24. Jayden Corrigan 25. Jackson Frei
The Warriors will be without Jesse Arthars for the next 4 weeks due to a shoulder injury, with Dallin Watene-Zelesniak returning from his nasty concussion in his place. Eliesa Katoa is promoted to the starting side, with Aaron Pene taking his place on the bench and Bayley Sironen dropping to 18th man.
Referee: Todd Smith
With these teams separated by just one win, this match could shape interpretations for both sides moving forward in this 2022 season. After a strong start, the Sharks have lost two of their last three, including a shock loss to Brisbane last week. The Warriors have also lost 2 of their last 3, most notably a 70-10 shellacking at the hands of Melbourne on ANZAC Day, but bounced back last week to down Canberra in Golden Point.
Cronulla’s injury list is looking very empty, with only Braden Hamlin-Uele (pectoral) unavailable for selection. By contrast, the Warriors are missing Marcelo Montoya (suspension), Tohu Harris (knee), Chanel Harris-Tevita (manhood) and Josh Curran (knee) all out. Kodi Nikorima is also injured, but reports are emerging that he’s already played his last game for the club and will join South Sydney as early as next week.
Over the last decade, this fixture has been dominated by the Sharks; since 2012, the blue and blacks have won 13 of 17 matchups. But it is the Warriors who have bragging rights heading into this one, following a 18-16 comeback win in the Queensland bubble last season.
This game could be decided by the exciting playmakers on both teams. Nicho Hynes had likely his worst game as a Shark last week and will look to bounce back in a big way against the man he replaced in the number 7 jumper, Shaun Johnson. But partnering Johnson is Reece Walsh, who, while not at the form which saw him come so close to a Queensland debut last year, still has the ability to turn in a performance which can swing the game for the Kiwi outfit.Embed from Getty Images
- Total Record: Played 44, Cronulla 26, Warriors 18
- Biggest wins: Cronulla 45-4 (Round 22 2012), Warriors 30-0 (Round 23 2001)
- Paul Gallen played the most matches in this fixture, with 24. This includes a game at five-eighth (Round 18 2004)
- Notable players to play on both sides: Shaun Johnson, Jason Bukuya, Chad Townsend, Richard Villasanti
Sharks by 16.
Follow Nothing But Rugby League on Facebook