Battle Of The Beaches

Picture: Sam Ruttyn/
The Premiers are hoping to recapture their old form. Picture: Sam Ruttyn/

Cronulla Sharks v Sydney Roosters
Remondis Stadium
Saturday April 19 – 7:35 PM (AEST)

Roosters: WWLLL

Heading into Saturday night’s clash, the Sydney Roosters QL_SS#1401566;6034#SS# and the Cronulla Sharks QL_SS#1401566;6032#SS# have three wins between them. These are two teams who were considered among the League's powerhouses at the start of the season. Last year’s Premiers have struggled to recapture their dominant form, while injury woes and off field incidents have plagued the Sharks' campaign.

A shadow of the team that faced Parra in Round 2, the Roosters were kept scoreless in the second half, losing to a new-look Eels last Saturday night. James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce failed to produce any momentum, as the Chooks' forward pack was demolished in the middle. But with the Roosters equal leaders in line breaks (30 with the Eels) and Pearce leading the league in line break assists (11), good things are bound to come for the men in Bondi.

The Sharks however are sitting on the bottom of the ladder for a reason. With Todd Carney out of form and Paul Gallen out for an extended period of time, they have had no direction and no leadership in past weeks. Playing in front of a home crowd and the re-signing of stand-in captain Wade Graham for a further 3 years will hopefully add the confidence the Sharks need to kick-start their season.

The Roosters have named an unchanged line-up from the loss against the Eels, with Dylan Napa and Daniel Mortimer added to an extended bench. For the Sharks, Jonathan Wright replaces Nathan Stapleton on the wing, with Chris Heighington slotting into lock, dropping Tinirau Arona to the bench.

While both teams have yet to reach their full potential, the Roosters should put the Sharks away comfortably.

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