The Sharks need to band together in what's been a horrible year. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au, Picture: Phil Hillyard
Roosters v Sharks
Saturday July 5 – 7:35 PM (AEST)
It’s been said so many times this year, but this is definitely a season to forget for the Cronulla Sharks . It should have been a time for celebration after they finally snapped their five-game losing streak against the Broncos on Friday night. But once again, more off-field incidents have dampened their celebrations. Todd Carney is no longer a Shark and coach Peter Sharp is bailing on a sinking ship. To make matters worse, they are facing a Sydney Roosters team that will be hell-bent on atoning for a poor second half against the Sea Eagles which cost them the game last Friday.
It really can’t get any worse for the Sharks. They lost their coach at the start of the year, their captain for the majority of the first half of the season and the ASADA saga continues to haunt them. The last thing they needed was another spanner in the works. But that’s exactly what they got. If you don’t know what Todd Carney got sacked for you have been living under a rock and the resignation of Sharp was the icing on a very sour cake. Thankfully Origin is almost over and the Sharks can welcome back Paul Gallen fulltime to the squad. With both Gallen and Luke Lewis away on rep duties, Bryce Gibbs and Tinirau Arona both come into the starting side. Tupou Sopoaga, Junior Roqica, Tim Robinson, Sione Masima and Pat Politoni make up the extend bench.
Good news for Roosters fans - the Premiers are almost back to their blistering best. After a strong first half against the Sea Eagles last week, they faded a little and were unable to recover, going down 24-16 in the Grand Final rematch. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is playing out of his skin. His footwork is so quick, there isn't much defenders can do against to combat his dazzling displays. Give him the ball out wide, or even in the middle, and he can somehow find a way through the defence. Daniel Tupou, Aiden Guerra and Boyd Cordner are all away on Origin duty, bringing Nene Macdonald onto the wing and Dylan Napa into the starting side. Frenchman Rèmi Casty and Kane Evans have both been added to the bench.
The only thing that will cause the Roosters to lose this one is themselves. Too many times this year they have shot themselves in the foot, and let the game slip away. Nothing is impossible, but the Sharks coming away with this one is pretty close.
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