St George Illawarra Dragons vs Cronulla Sharks: NRL live scores, blog
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St George-Illa. Vs. Cronulla
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 16 July, 2012
|WIN Stadium, Wollongong, NSW|
|St George-Illa. 18 defeated Cronulla 10|
|Referee: Ashley Klein|
|Touch judges: R Turner & Ricky McFarlane|
The St George Illawarra Dragons need to win at home today but will get no favours from a Cronulla Sharks outfit with high hopes of a top four finish. Join us for live scores and commentary from 3:00pm AEST.
Coming off a bye, the Dragons should be fresh and eager to play their best football against Cronulla this afternoon.
After succumbing to the Raiders a fortnight ago, St George Illawarra are running out of chances and need to string some wins together if they are a chance of making the finals.
Cronulla on the other hand are sitting nicely inside the top four after scrapping to a 14 all draw against the Roosters on Monday night.
Despite dominating territory and possession against the Roosters however, the Sharks did struggle to score points, raising concerns about their ability to put opposition to the sword when given the opportunity to do so.
Given that both teams can struggle to score points, expect today’s encounter to be a low scoring and closely fought affair.
Key forwards Paul Gallen and Jeremy Smith remained sidelined for the Sharks and will be missed against the Dragons today.
Gallen and Smith are two of the NRL’s best yardage gainers and were heavily missed on Monday night against Sydney.
The Sharks forwards struggled to penetrate a Roosters defence that put themselves under enormous pressure due to ill discipline and a high error count.
The fact that the Roosters still managed to hang on for a draw however shows that Cronulla’s forwards struggled to provide halves Todd Carney and Jeff Robson with the platform necessary to orchestrate the attack.
Without Smith and Gallen in the line-up, the Sharks could struggle to match the more disciplined Dragons, who will be buoyed by a strong home crowd.
Dominating upfront however will mean nothing for the Dragons if they fail to score points today.
Steve Price’s men have struggled to click in attack over the past few weeks and will once again be made to work for their points today against a strong Sharks defence.
Cronulla have improved immeasurably in defence this season, and if halves Jamie Soward and Ben Hornby fail to find a way through the Cronulla wall, Dragons fans will have to brace themselves for another frustrating afternoon.
Although the Dragons are tough to beat at home, the Sharks are desperate to retain their place inside the top four, and with a game breaker like Carney in the line-up, Cronulla should have enough points in them to outlast the home side.
Sharks by 6
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