The NSW Cup Sharks scored an impressive victory over the Sea Eagles last round and will be looking for more of the same when they tackle the Bulldogs at Henson Park on Saturday.
In perhaps their most complete performance of 2014 the Sharks dominated the Manly side in registering a 48-14 win, sending a message to the rest of the NSW Cup competition that their title defense was on track
This weekend they face a Bulldogs side outside the top eight but more than capable of an upset result, however the inclusion of Nathan Gardner, Nathan Stapleton, George Rose and Tupou Sopoaga strengthens the Sharks side and gives them confidence of a positive result.
The round 16 match is scheduled for a 1.00pm kickoff at Henson Park as the first of a double header of matches with the home team the Newtown Jets taking on the Wyong Roos at 3.00pm.
The NSWRL.com website has again provided its weekly match preview.
Summary: The Cronulla Sharks showed that their title defence is still alive and well after a 34 point win over Manly last weekend while the Bulldogs ran into a rampant Knights outfit up in Newcastle.
With just ten matches remaining in the regular season it would appear 28 or at worst 26 competition points will be the cut off for the top eight. With that being the case, it would seem that the Bulldogs would most likely have to win at least eight of their remaining nine games, even allowing for their second bye. While this may be a hill too high to climb, the Dogs will still want to finish off the year in style and perhaps even throw a spanner in the works of a few of the more fancied sides in the process.
With just the four competition points separating the fourth placed Cutters and the tenth placed Jets at present, every match is now an important one for the Sharks.
Currently sitting in sixth, the Sharks are still in a decent position to launch an assault on a top four spot, however a loss or two could see them in real danger of dropping out of the eight altogether.
It’s going to be an exciting run into the finals, with plenty of machinations yet to be played out.
Packing a punch: Win, lose or draw, this Dogs pack looks very good for this round 16 clash against the Sharks. Cook, Perrett, O’Hanlon and Maitua all suit up here after not going around against the Knights last weekend. With so much youth in their backline, the Dogs will definitely benefit from having a few more experienced heads back in the side.
Prediction: The Sharks should be able to do enough against what is likely to be a resilient Dogs side. Sharks by 10.
Cronulla Sharks Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Henson Park, Saturday, June 28
Referee: Chris Treneman
Broadcast: Radio Coverage courtesy of Steele Sports Radio (Link available via www.steelesports.com.au