Shaun Johnson was great in a losing team last week. Source: Wayne Drought/AAP
Last 5 Meetings
Round 22 2012 – Cronulla Sharks 45 d New Zealand Warriors 4 at Mt Smart Stadium
Round 15 2012 – Cronulla Sharks 20 d New Zealand Warriors 19 at Sharks Stadium
Round 4 2011 – New Zealand Warriors 26 d Cronulla Sharks 18 at Taupo
Round 22 2010 – New Zealand Warriors 37 d Cronulla Sharks 10 at Sharks Stadium
Round 2 2010 – New Zealand Warriors 30 d Cronulla Sharks 16 at Mt Smart Stadium
(most recent first)
Sharks – LW
Warriors – LL
While the club remains shrouded in controversy with an ASADA investigation into the use of prohibited substances at the Sharks continues, interim coach Peter Sharp has managed to retain some consistency by naming the same 17 man squad that took the field last week for Sunday’s match against the Warriors. John Morris will against lineup at hooker in place of Isaac De Gois, who was a late withdrawal in round two, while Luke Lewis will be monitored in the lead up to the match after suffering an ankle injury against Souths.
Despite suffering its tenth straight NRL defeat against the Roosters, New Zealand will take an unchanged squad to Sharks Stadium with a host of stars still on the casualty list including Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati and Nathan Friend. Elijah Taylor will again start as Friend’s replacement at hooker but Pita Godinet is again likely to get a lot of playing time off the bench after impressing in last week’s 16-14 defeat.
Michael Gordon caused all sorts of problems for the Rabbitohs on Monday night, breaking 12 tackles, effecting two line breaks, running for 171m and scoring a try. Opposition fullbacks have already scored four tries against the Warriors this year and Gordon will look to exploit their potential defensive weakness there.
Halfback Shaun Johnson was easily the dangerous attacking player for New Zealand against the Roosters last week and will again look to threaten the line at Sharks Stadium at every opportunity that he gets.
– The Sharks were brave against Souths on Monday night and did well to finish as close as they did after conceding two early tries. While Cronulla have shown great character in both of the opening two rounds, New Zealand has lacked spirit and will struggle to break their long winless drought. Cronulla Sharks 13+
Click here to bet on NRL Round 3 matches