Lachy MacCorquodale previews the Sunday night clash between the Warriors and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
New Zealand Warriors Vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Venue: Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe
Date: Sunday June 12, 6:15pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Ben Murdoch-Masila 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jazz Tevaga 11. Euan Aitken 12. Tohu Harris 13. Jack Murchie 14. Josh Curran 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Dunamis Lui 17. Bayley Sironen 18. Freddy Lussick 20. Aaron Pene 21. Eliesa Katoa 22. Jesse Arthars 23. Ronald Volkman
Only two changes has been announced to the team that lost to the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles last week, with Josh Curran returning from injury and Dunamis Lui being brought into the 17 at the expense of Aaron Pene and Taniela OtukoloEmbed from Getty Images
Sharks: 1. William 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. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Cameron McInnes. 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Braydon Trindall 16. Thomas Hazelton 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Connor Tracey 19. Wade Graham 20. Lachlan Miller 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Mawene Hiroti
The only change from the side that took on the Sydney Roosters in Round 12 is the return of Jesse Ramien for suspension which pushes Connor Tracey out of the playing 17.
Referee: Chris Sutton
The Warriors are still looking for their fifth win of the season after suffering their fifth straight defeat at the hands of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles: losing by 32 points. It was a fairly poor outing from the Warriors, conceding two tries in the opening 10 minutes and another two before the 30 minute mark. It didn’t help their cause that they failed to score a four pointer until the 53rd minute of the match. They missed a well above league average 43 tackles for the match, 24 more than their opponents as they struggled in both attack and defence in Nathan Brown’s 37th and final outing as the Warriors head coach. Warriors legend Stacey Jones will take charge of the team for the remainder of the season as the Warriors search for their first win since Round 8.
Their prospects for that circuit-breaking win don’t look overly great. They face the sixth-placed Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks who are fresh off a bye and will be raring to continue their push for finals football. A main concern for the Warriors this weekend is that they have conceded 153 points over the last five weekends, just over 30 points per game, and boast the league’s worst defence, having conceded 355 points (27.3 per game) so far this season. Coming up against a fresh Sharks side won’t make it any easier for the Warriors’ defence. The inclusion of Josh Curran on the interchange, after returning from injury, should help their defence a touch as well as providing Shaun Johnson with another player he can use in attack. Johnson and fullback Reece Walsh will need to be at their best on Sunday if the Warriors are to come away with the victory.
After having a week off, the Sharks will looking to get back on the winners list after losing to the Roosters in Round 12 by 20 points. After a strong start to the season – winning four of their first five matches – the Sharks have failed to string two wins in a row, having won three of their past seven matches. Included in those past seven matches was a 29-10 victory over the Warriors back in Round 9. The Sharks will be hoping for much of the same and the return of Jesse Ramien from suspension will provide the Sharks with another attacking weapon to throw at the struggling Warriors defence.
Halfback Nicho Hynes will be ready for a big game as he tries to push his name for selection in the 17-man lineup for Origin II after being named as 18th man for Game 1. Sitting third in the Dally M count after Round 12, Hynes will be looking to add to his seven try assists that he has already accumulated this season, after assisting two tries and scoring one himself against the Warriors earlier in the season. His performance will be crucial to a Sharks victory at Redcliffe this Sunday, as the side from the Shire hunts for their eighth win of the season.Embed from Getty Images
The two sides have met 45 times previously in the NRL, with the Sharks walking away as victors on 27 occasions and the Warriors 18. The Sharks have dominated the Warriors in recent times, having won five of their past six games. Dating back to the start of the 2012 season, the two teams have played each other 18 times, with Cronulla winning 14 of them. The Warriors have only beaten the Sharks three times since the start of the 2015 season, with their latest triumph over the Sharks coming in a two-point victory in Round 21, 2021.
Sharks by 14 points.
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