Canberra Raiders vs Cronulla Sharks: NRL Finals live scores, blog
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Sandor Earl has turned the corner with the Canberra Raiders (Image: Grant Trouville)
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Canberra Vs. Cronulla
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 10 September, 2012
|Canberra Stadium, Canberra, ACT|
|Canberra 34 defeated Cronulla 16|
|Referee: T Archer|
|Touch judges: J Younis & Adam Reid|
The final game of week one of the NRL finals sees Canberra Raiders host Cronulla Sharks at Canberra Stadium in an intriguing matchup between two contrasting combatants. We’ll have live scores and blog from 4.00pm AEST.
Whereas the Sharks have been one of the toughest sides to beat in 2012, spending most of the season in the top eight, the Raiders have relied on a late season surge to force their way into the playoffs.
The Raiders are dynamic where the Sharks are tough. The home fans at Canberra can expect to see their team’s quick men burning up the park with sweeping backline moves and skilful, dangerous kicks.
The visitors will rely on their power game to punch up the middle of the park. Their fit pack will try to wear the big Canberra forwards down through persistent and hard-hitting defence.
Crucial to the fortunes of both teams is the form of their halves. Todd Carney and Jeff Robson will want to turn the Canberra pack around and will be aiming to create pressure with an accurate short kicking game in the Raiders danger zone.
They’ll also need to avoid kicking it straight to the Raiders dangerous back three, with Dugan and Robinson especially proving to be hard to contain if given room.
For the Raiders, Sam Williams has been named alongside the consistent Josh McCrone and we can expect to see their running and passing game being used to run the Sharks off their feet and exploit any gaps out wide.
In 2012 both sides have managed to win at the other’s home ground. Canberra predictably holds the edge on their home ground but the Sharks recent record suggests they don’t mind the trip to the nation’s capital.
The winner in this one will go on to face the Rabbitohs next week.
This game promises to be a closely fought contest right up to the full time siren. Will the Raiders continue their late season surge or will the Sharks shut them down?
Prediction: Sharks by 4