The Cronulla Sharks got out of jail against St George Illawarra last week but will need to improve tenfold if they are defeat a Sydney Roosters side on an eight match winning streak. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.00pm AEST.
A late Andrew Fifita try was enough for the Sharks to secure two valuable competition points against a Dragons team missing several key players last week.
Despite attaining victory, Cronulla once again showed their limitations in attack, and it remains to be seen if they have enough points in them to crack the NRL’s best defensive unit.
The Roosters enjoyed a training run of sorts against the Tigers last week and possess all the confidence in the world at the moment.
With the finals just around the corner, playing the Sharks away from home is just what the Roosters need to get into peak shape for September.
The last time these two teams met, the Roosters romped to a 40 nil victory and Cronulla will be keen to show at home that they deserve to be ranked as a premiership contender.
Given that they are at home, tonight’s contest could end up being a real arm wrestle.
The battle upfront should be a highlight, with in-form Sharks forwards Andrew Fifita and Bryce Gibbs squaring off against Roosters giants Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Sam Moa.
NSW second rowers Luke Lewis and Paul Gallen will also need to play strongly tonight in a bid to stop superstar Sonny Bill Williams from wrecking havoc.
While the Sharks at full strength can certainly match the Roosters upfront, Sydney does possess a significant advantage in the backline.
The likes of Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Daniel Tupou and Roger-Tuivasa Sheck have made a habit of tearing opposition to shreds this season with their speed and sharp footwork.
Throw in the strong present form of halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney, and it’s easy to understand why the Sharks simply must win the arm wrestle upfront to deny the Roosters the platform to weave their magic.
With a home final still well on the cards for Cronulla, expect the Sharks to really turn up tonight in a bid to secure the all important home ground advantage in the first week of the finals
After eight straight wins, the Roosters may be a little vulnerable tonight and may just fall short against a determined Sharks outfit.
Sharks by 4