NRL Preview: Sharks set to bounce back
The Cronulla Sharks will be looking to bounce back against the South Sydney Rabbitohs when they travel to ANZ Stadium this Monday night.
After going down to both the Canberra Raiders and St George Illawarra Dragons in recent weeks, Shane Flanagan’s will be hoping the 9-day turn around will give his side the rest they need to take on the Bunnies.
Having spend the majority of the lead-up to Monday night’s match on the Central Coast, the Sharks have been completely focused on the job at hand and will hope to be fresh when Monday night comes around.
Shane Flanagan said the rest was what his side needed and believes they are fit and fresh heading to tomorrow night’s all important clash at ANZ Stadium.
“I feel the nine day turnarounds been good for us,” said Flanagan.
“We were away for a couple of days and the boys were nice and fresh today looking forward to tomorrow.”
In team news, Sosaia Feki will miss the clash with Gerard Beale to move to the left wing position and Ricky Leutele to come into left centre.
Feki sustained the groin injury against the Dragons and will be working hard to be fit to take on the Roosters in Round 25.
Despite pulling out from the local derby in the warm up, skipper Paul Gallen has been named with Shane Flanagan set to make a call on Gallen prior to kick-off.
“He (Gallen) trained this morning so we’ll make a call on it tomorrow,” said Flanagan.
“He’s gone through the rehab process for that calf and he had a previous calf injury at the start of the year so it’s a tricky one where we didn’t want to mess around with it.”
After failing to collect the two competitions in the last three starts, Monday’s match will provide the Sharks with a great opportunity to regain some of the early season form which had them sitting atop the NRL ladder.
South Sydney however will be out to halt this run and are coming of a strong victory over the NZ Warriors and will prove to be a tough opposition.
Key Match Up: Paul Gallen v Sam Burgess
After missing last weekend’s local derby, skipper Paul Gallen will be fired up for tomorrow night’s clash against the Bunnies and what better opposite number to come up against.
Gallen has run for an average of 159 metres per game this season from 16 appearances, the most by any Sharks player and will be crucial to getting his side on the front foot.
On the other side of the equation, Sam Burgess has returned to the NRL in 2016 with his trademark offloading ability and minutes in the middle of the park.
If the Sharks are to be victorious tomorrow night, shutting down the impact Burgess has will be a key part of Shane Flanagan’s game plan.
Head-to-Head: Played 84, Shark 44, South Sydney 37, Drawn 3
At ANZ Stadium: Played 6, South Sydney 5, Sharks 1
Last 5 Meetings:
Finals Week 1, 2015: Sharks 28 def. Souths 12 @ Allianz Stadium
Round 7, 2015: Sharks 18 def. Souths 10 @ Remondis Stadium
Round 11, 2014: Souths 18 def. Sharks 0 @ Remondis Stadium
Round 11, 2013: Sharks 14 def. Souths 12 @ Sharks Stadium
Round 2, 2013: Souths 14 def. Sharks 12 @ ANZ Stadium
HTH: Sharks ($1.38) v Rabbitohs ($3.15)
Line: Sharks -8.0 ($1.90), Souths +8.0 ($1.90)
First try scorer: Valentine Holmes ($6), Ben Barba ($9), Alex Johnston ($11), Gerard Beale ($11).
*Prices quoted 14:00pm Sunday, August 21. For the latest odds and more markets on the match, click here.