2023 NRL Preview Round 1: Sharks Vs Rabbitohs

Josh Mercer previews the Saturday night clash between the Cronulla Sharks and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Here’s what we have to look forward to.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Cronulla Sharks Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Venue: Pointsbet Stadium, Cronulla
Date: Saturday, March 4, 7:35 pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Braydon Trindall 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane 14. Cameron McInnes 15. Wade Graham 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Jack Williams 18. Connor Tracey 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Thomas Hazelton 21. Jayden Berrell 22. Niwhai Puru

Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Izaac Thompson 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Blake Taaffe 15. Michael Chee Kam 16. Davvy Moale 17. Shaq Mitchell 18. Jed Cartwright 19. Terrell Kalo Kalo 20. Ben Lovett 21. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 22. Josiah Karapani

Referee: Grant Atkins

Embed from Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

Cronulla Sharks were the surprise packet of the 2022 season. New coach Craig Fitzgibbon led them to the finals series. However, they were bundled out with back-to-back losses. Anything less than a finals appearance this year will be considered underperforming.

The Sharks get the chance to get one up on the team that forced them out of the finals. They will have to do it without star halfback Nicho Hynes. Hynes was a revelation in the number seven jersey last year; he capped off a magnificent season by winning the Dally M Medal. Braydon Trindall has big shoes to fill, but he is more than capable of doing the job.

Hynes isn’t the only one missing this weekend; Royce Hunt will also be missing with an elbow injury. Brandon Hamlin-Uele will start, with Jack Williams on the bench. Former Eels player Oregon Kaufusi will debut for the club off the bench.

The Rabbitohs will be looking at starting 2023 off with a win; in the last two seasons, they have lost their opening game. They fell short of last year’s grand final, losing to the Panthers in the preliminary final.

Taarne Milne will miss the season opener through suspension, and Izaac Thompson has been named on the wing. Hame Sele is out with a calf injury. Otherwise, the Rabbitohs will be at full strength for this round-one clash.

LAST TEN MATCHES

Sharks 5, Rabbitohs 5

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Souths by 10

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