While Peter V’landys has a vice-like grip on the reins of the NRL, the 16 clubs that make up the premiership have a lot of power in their own right.
Round 6 of the 2019 NRL season starts tonight and several teams will be itching to get some much-needed momentum with a win over the weekend.
Of the clubs outside the top eight, the Sharks, Warriors and Panthers are sitting on two wins while the Knights, Broncos, Titans, Cowboys and Bulldogs have just one win apiece.
On the Game of Codes podcast, Roar NRL Expert Mary Konstantopoulos and Editor Daniel Jeffrey were posed the question by host Matt Petherick: which of these sides is most in need of a win?
While Jeffrey said the 1-4 Cowboys need to secure the two points to have any hope of keeping their season alive, Konstantopoulos admitted she’s less optimistic about the sides outside the top 11 and argued Cronulla’s home game against Penrith tonight is crucial to the Sharks staying in finals contention. Hear why Cronulla is her pick:
The Sharks have been hit hard by injury in 2019 and will face the Panthers tonight without Matt Moylan, Aaron Woods or Wade Graham. Andrew Fifita and Paul Gallen are tentative selections for the matchup after training with niggling injuries during the week.
While Cronulla have won their last six against Penrith and 11 of the last 13, encounters between the two sides are typically tight contests: just four of the past 12 matches finished with a margin in excess of eight points.
The Sharks will take on the Broncos and Storm in Round 7 and 8 respectively before a clash with the Titans in Brisbane for Magic Round.