Sharks Set To Sink Their Teeth Into Cowboys

Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Todd Carney is a leading contender for the Dally M medal. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Last 5 Meetings

Round 16, 2013 – North QLD Cowboys 24 d Cronulla Sharks 4 at Townsville
Round 26, 2012 - North QLD Cowboys 36 d Cronulla Sharks 22 at Remondis Stadium
Round 4, 2012 - Cronulla Sharks 20 d North QLD Cowboys 14 at Townsville
Round 25, 2011 - North QLD Cowboys 28 d Cronulla Sharks 20 at Townsville
Round 7, 2011 - North QLD Cowboys 30 d Cronulla Sharks 12 at Remondis Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 20    Rd 21    Rd 22    Rd 23    Rd 24 
Sharks

W

W

L

W

W

Cowboys

L

W

W

W

W


Fresh from a 32-22 win over the ladder-leading Roosters on Monday night, the Sharks  will be looking to continue their charge towards the finals when they host the Cowboys  on Sunday afternoon. Coach Shane Flanagan has named an unchanged squad to the one which did the job in that fixture, although Sam Tagatese has been named to start in the front row this time around with Paul Gallen moving back to lock and Jayson Bukuya to the bench. Ben Pomeroy will take his place in the centres after being found not guilty of a dangerous throw by the judiciary on Wednesday night.

With Ray Thompson’s season over after having his jaw broken by a Kade Snowden shoulder charge last weekend, Rory Kostjasyn has been named to start at hooker after coming off the bench for the past two matches. Teenage hooker Jayden Hodges has been named to make his debut off the bench, while Ashton Sims will travel to Sydney as 18th man.


1st Tryscorer

It may come as a surprise but Andrew Fifita  is the leading tryscorer for Cronulla this season with 8 tries in 21 appearances for the club. He opened the scoring against Newcastle in round 22 and will be relishing the prospect of going toe-to-toe with Kangaroos front rowers Matt Scott and James Tamou.

Wayne Ulugai  couldn’t have made a better debut against the Knights in round 24, crossing for two tries and running for 148m. With veteran fullback Matt Bowen announcing his retirement during the week, Ulugai will be determined to press his claims for a place in the side next season.


Prediction

The Cowboys have traditionally struggled when they have travelled to Sydney but have a good record against the Sharks at Remondis Stadium. They haven’t lost at the ground for 5 years and have won six of the past eight meetings between the sides at all venues. If the Sharks are a bit flat following their big win over the Roosters on Monday night, the Cowboys can win. North Queensland Cowboys by 8

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