NRL MATCH PREVIEW | Sharks v Tigers

The Sharks head West today in search of another set of competition points, having not played in an NRL match at Campbelltown since 2007.

Not unfamiliar with the surroundings though, having played a trial match there just over a month ago, the side will be out to make it back-to-back wins after a hard-fought effort over the Storm on Monday.

The Tigers meanwhile return to Campbelltown for the second time this season, having narrowly scored over the Warriors there in Round 1.

Their opening-week success was backed up with two more successive victories, however consecutive losses to the Titans and Eels respectively will have the hosts hungry to return to winning ways against the Sharks in Round 5.

 

What the Coach’s have said

Striving for consistency after impressive wins against the Dragons and Storm – with a disappointing loss to the Sea Eagles in between – Sharks Coach Shane Flanagan knows the tough task that awaits his men in taking on the Tigers away from home.

“They’re a dangerous side the Tigers, some big forwards lead by (Aaron) Woods. Robbie Farah’s back, and their outside backs are lightning fast. We’re going to need to be on our game,” Flanagan said on Friday.

“The sides that strive for consistency at this time of year are the ones that are going to get the results, and that’s something that we’re looking at week to week.”

Having kept the Storm to just six points last weekend, and the Dragons to two in their two wins to date, the Sharks’ defensive work has been impressive thus far.

Tigers coach Jason Taylor praised the Sharks work, and said his side must ask plenty of the Sharks defence this weekend.

“We’re really respecting Cronulla’s defence. They’ve been impressive,” he said.

“To keep Melbourne to the low score that they did last week was a great job, and they didn’t have a try conceded against the Dragons a few weeks ago.

“It’s going to be a tough game and we’ve got to respect them.”

 

Key Match-up

It would come as no surprise to most to single out the Sharks’ Ben Barba and the Tigers’ James Tedesco as the men to watch this afternoon.

Both have been in blistering form to start their respective 2016 seasons, with their names well and truly in the mix for higher honours come Origin selection in a matter of weeks.

Tedesco had been near unstoppable inside the opening month – before Parramatta found a way to consign the Tigers to nil last weekend.

Barba meanwhile had been edging towards a break-out match, with his try against the Storm perhaps just one of many more exciting four-pointers to come this season.

 

Tale of the tape

Head-to-head:

-       Played: 26 (8W, 1D, 17L)

-       At Campbelltown: (P4, W1, D0, L3)

Last five meetings:

-       Round 24, 2015 (H): Sharks 40 def. Tigers 18

-       Round 26, 2014 (A): Sharks 10 def. by Tigers 26

-       Round 10, 2015 (H): Sharks 20 def. by Tigers

-       Round 17, 2013 (H): Sharks 36 def. Tigers 22

-       Round 9, 2013 (A): Sharks 30 def. Tigers 6

 

The Punters’ picks; odds brought to you by CrownBet*

Head to Head: Sharks $1.68, Tigers $2.24

Margin: Sharks 1-12 ($3), Sharks 13+ ($3.50), Tigers 1-12 ($3.50), Tigers 13+ ($5.25)

Line: Sharks (-3.5) $1.94, Tigers (+3.5) $1.90

First Try Scorer: Sharks: Valentine Holmes ($10), Tigers: James Tedesco ($8)

 

*Odds quoted 10:30am (AEDST) Saturday, April 2. For the latest odds and more markets, Click HERE.