NRL Match Preview: We're expecting a tough one
The Cronulla Sharks 62-0 victory over the Newcastle Knights earlier in the 2016 season will mean nothing when the Novocastrians travel to Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday.
These are the words of Sharks Head Coach Shane Flanagan who said that tomorrow’s clash is a new game and that his side cannot rest on their laurels.
When the Sharks travelled up the M1 in Round 10, the Newcastle side were without starting halves Trent Hodkinson and Jarrod Mullen, forcing Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger into the fray.
The Black, White and Blue ran in 11 tries that day at Hunter Stadium, with Valentine Holmes crossing the line on four occasions and Sosaia Feki on three, equally the Club’s highest ever winning margin.
However, Flanagan says that the Knights will offer a completely different proposition when they travelled to the Shire on Sunday.
“I’m expecting a real tough game…exactly the same game that Newcastle played last week against the Storm,” said Flanagan.
“It could go right down to the wire.”
Flanagan stresses that his side should not underestimate a Knights side even though they have only been victorious on one occasion from 17 starts in 2016.
“We need to make sure that we’re ready for a tough game.
“They’ve got nothing to lose, so I’ll make those decsions, whether players come on or off or how much game time they’ll play when the game unfolds.”
The Knights will welcome back Queensland State of Origin winger Dane Gagai after he sat out their last match against the Melbourne Storm due to a quad strain.
They will however be without Jake Mamo and Daniel Saifiti who are both suspended, while Robbie Rochow and Sione Mata’utia will miss the match due to injury.
Played: 47, Cronulla: 19, Newcastle: 27, Drawn: 1
At Southern Cross Group Stadium
Played 23, Cronulla: 12, Newcastle: 11
Last Time We Met
Cronulla def. Newcastle 62-0, Round 10, 2016
Last Five Meetings
- Round 10, 2016: Sharks 62 def. Knights 0 @ Hunter Stadium
- Round 15, 2015: Sharks 30 def. Knights 28 @ Hunter Stadium
- Round 6, 2015: Sharks 22 def. Knights 6 @Remondis Stadium
- Round 18, 2014: Knights 31 def. Sharks 18 @ Remondis Stadium
- Round 4, 2014: Knights 30 def. Sharks 0 @ Hunter Stadium
Head to Head: Sharks ($1.06), Knights ($10.00)
Line: Sharks -23.5 (1.92), Knights +23.5 (1.92)
First Try Scorer: Valentine Holmes $6.50, Ben Barba $7.50, Sosaia Feki $9.00,
*Odds quoted 12:00pm, 23/07/2016. For current odds, click HERE.