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Sharks vs Cowboys
NRL, 18 August, 2018
|Southern Cross Group Stadium|
|Fulltime - Sharks 28, Cowboys 16|
|Referee: Matt Cecchin|
|Touch judges: Jarrod Cole & Clayton Sharpe|
|Video Referee: Steve Chiddy|
Andrew Fifita apparently delivered Cronulla’s coaching staff a fiery on-field rebuke as the Sharks kept in touch with the top four with a 28-16 win over North Queensland in Johnathan Thurston’s Sydney farewell.
Cronulla Sharks 28
North Queensland Cowboys 16
The Cronulla Sharks and North Queensland Cowboys may be at opposite ends of the table but still have plenty to play for. The Sharks have a top four finish in their sights while the Cowboys are looking to avoid the wooden spoon. Join The Roar from 7:35pm (AEST) for live scores and coverage of the match.
Cronulla delivered a massive win last week over the Melbourne Storm following back-to-back losses. They have turned themselves around at the right time of the season as they hunt down a spot inside the top four making a win over the Cowboys crucial to their finals chances.
The Sharks worked hard through the middle of the park led by Paul Gallen in their 17-14 win over the Storm, with Matt Moylan and Valentine Holmes adding a spark in attack and putting Melbourne on the backfoot.
Shane Flanagan’s side will be hurting through the loss of Wade Graham to a knee injury, replaced in the back row by Scott Sorensen with Kurt Capewell added to the bench.
Sorensen has a big job to live up to as the Sharks’ recent performances have proven just how valuable Graham is to their success.
The North Queensland Cowboys may have secured a 34-30 win over archrivals and finals contenders the Brisbane Broncos, however, it has seen them relegated to the bottom of the table on for-and-against with the Parramatta Eels moving out of 16th for the first time since round two.
The Cowboys will be without Jason Taumalolo, who has received a one-week suspension for a shoulder charge. John Asiata takes his place at lock with Francis Molo coming into the team.
Taumalolo ran for 286 metres against the Broncos, laying the platform alongside Jordan McLean and Matthew Scott. Paul Green learned that when the Tongan international wasn’t on the field last week, North Queensland struggled to gain valuable metres.
It will be a tough challenge for the Cowboys to win the turf war between the forwards however, they will rely on the likes of McLean and Scott to provide the go-forward required to match it with an experienced, tough pack.
The Sharks and Cowboys have played 45 matches with Cronulla winning 27 of those, compared to North Queensland’s 18 wins. The Cowboys have struggled at Shark Park, winning only five games from 13 outings and losing their last three.
North Queensland have won the last two games between the clubs however after recording a 20-14 win in Round 1 of this year.
Cronulla will take a step closer to the top four with a big win over the Cowboys.
Sharks by 10.
Join The Roar from 7:35pm (AEST) for score updates and debate in our live blog.