Mark Barnes previews the Monty Porter Cup clash between the Sharks and Dragons.Subscribe to NothingButRL!
Cronulla Sharks v St. George-Illawarra Dragons
Venue: PointsBet Stadium
Date: Saturday August 7, 7:35pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Sharks: 1. Kade Dykes 2. Connor Tracey 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Braydon Trindall 15. Aiden Tolman 16. Teig Wilton 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Lachlan Miller 19. Jesse Colquhoun 20. Royce Hunt 21. Matt Ikuvalu 22. Thomas Hazelton
Royce Hunt is out with a shoulder injury so Braden Hamlin-Uele will start and Braydon Trindall joins the bench. The biggest blow for the Sharks is Fullback Will Kennedy, who is out up to six weeks and replaced by debutant Kade Dykes.Embed from Getty Images
Dragons: 1. Moses Mbye 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Jack Bird 4. Zac Lomax 5. Tautau Moga 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Tyrell Sloan 15. Aaron Woods 16. Francis Molo 17. Josh Mcguire 18. Michael Molo 19. Max Feagai 20. Jaiyden Hunt 21. Tyrell Fuimaono 22. Jackson Ford
No changes to the Dragons 17 from last week’s loss with Cody Ramsey expected to return to fullback next week after recovering from injury.
Referee: Ashley Klein
The local derby sees the neighbouring Dragons travel to the Shire to take on the Sharks at PointsBet Stadium – a ground the Sharks have only lost on once all year. The Sharks will be boosted in confidence having beaten the in form Rabbitohs in a golden point thriller last week.
Despite the absences of key players in Kennedy and Finucane, the Sharks will fancy their chances of another win this week. They will come up against a Dragons side that not only lost by 26 to the Cowboys but have also only won half of their last ten games despite their hopes of finals football hanging by a thread for months.
If the Dragons are any hope, it will again need to be off the back of superstar Ben Hunt who despite the Dragons poor season, has been in career form and is a right up there with current Dally M leaders despite his team sitting eleventh. Such is his influence on the Dragons and their fortunes Ben Hunt has.
Nicho Hynes has again been instrumental recently to the Sharks success however it’s this season’s resurgence of Matt Moylan that was unexpected. He continues to create opportunities with Jesse Ramien in a fine run of form the last month setting up tries and scoring them almost at will outside his two playmakers.
The edge and outside back defence of the Dragons has left a lot to be desired with the Roosters and Cowboys recently scoring almost a hundred points between them.
The Sharks halves will no doubt be trying to get early ball to their powerful centres in Ramien and Talakai which should also present some opportunity for Tracey and Mulitalo to showcase their finishing ability on either wing.
How the Dragons improve defensively will go a long way to dictating the outcome. Having said that, the Dragons attack has been equally inept, wavering less than seventeen points per game over their last five matches.
The task to score points will not get any easier this week against the third best defensive team in the NRL.Embed from Getty Images
The Dragons have not won a match at Cronulla since 2018 and have lost the last five straight encounters overall.
Sharks by 16
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