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Sydney Roosters vs Cronulla Sharks NRL Finals Preview and Team News - Roosters target third straight win over Sharks

Andrew Hendrie 6 Sep 2018
  • Sydney Roosters host Cronulla Sharks in a NRL qualifying final on Saturday night
  • Roosters have won their last two meetings, but Sharks won the six before that
Roosters face Sharks on Saturday

Minor premiers the Sydney Roosters take on the in-form Cronulla Sharks as the two sides battle it out for a spot in the preliminary finals on Saturday night.

After claiming their fourth minor premiership in the last six seasons, the Roosters will be targeting a week off as they face the confident Sharks on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium.

While the Roosters secured the minor premiership with a dominant 44-10 win over the last-placed Eels last week, they did lose their previous two games against the Raiders and Broncos, and it remains to be seen just how much we can take from a performance against a side that had already picked up the wooden spoon and had nothing to play for after a nightmare season.

Regardless, the Roosters finished the regular season as the best defensive team in the competition, leaking the least amount of points and generally always delivering in the big games.

However, they are weakened in the forwards for this showdown, with both Dylan Napa and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves both missing.

Can the Sharks take advantage?

Cronulla are riding a four-match winning streak heading into the finals, beating the Bulldogs, Knights, Cowboys and Storm - however, only one of those wins was against top eight opposition.

But, on the other hand, the Bulldogs were one of the form teams in the NRL over the last month, while the Cowboys were also playing great footy towards the end of the season.

The Sharks love the grind - as illustrated through their 17-14 win over Melbourne - and are masters at bringing teams down to their level and then prevailing in a scrap.

Whatever the outcome, I can see a low-scoring affair playing out on Saturday night and wouldn’t be surprised at either team prevailing, but for me the Sharks are the form team right now and are primed for the upset.

Stats


  • Roosters won their only clash this season 28-10 back in Round 5
  • Sharks won their last meeting at Allianz Stadium in 2016
  • Cronulla have won six of their last eight meetings, but Roosters have won the last two

Teams


The Roosters are unchanged from last week’s win over the Eels, while Ricky Leutele returns for the Sharks at centre, pushing Scott Sorenson to the reserves.

Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Isaac Liu, 13 Victor Radley

Interchange: 14 Lindsay Collins, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Mitchell Aubusson, 17 Ryan Matterson

Reserves: 18 Nat Butcher, 19 Sean O’Sullivan, 20 Matt Ikuvalu, 21 Kurt Baptiste

Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Josh Dugan, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Edrick Lee, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Luke Lewis, 12 Wade Graham (c), 13 Paul Gallen (c)

Interchange: 14 Kurt Capewell, 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Aaron Woods, 17 Jayson Bukuya

Reserves: 18 Scott Sorensen, 19 Ava Seumanufagai , 20 Joseph Paulo, 21 Jesse Ramien

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Sydney Roosters vs Cronulla Sharks NRL Finals Preview and Team News - Roosters target third straight win over Sharks

Minor premiers the Sydney Roosters take on the in-form Cronulla Sharks as the two sides battle it out for a spot in the preliminary finals on Saturday night.

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