KEY MATCH-UPS – Sharks v Broncos
The Sharks will take on the Broncos in what is set to be a tough and exciting NRL season opener tonight at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Both sides fell short to Wigan and Warrington in last month’s World Club Challenge and will be looking for redemption through securing a Round 1 win. Last time the sides met at Southern Cross Group Stadium, the Sharks had to fight off a late Brisbane surge to scrape through with a tight 30 – 28 win.
Here are the key match-ups that are set to determine which team will claim the first victory of the 2017 season.
THE FULLBACKS – GERARD BEALE v DARIUS BOYD
Gerard Beale and Darius Boyd will both don the no.1 jersey in tonight’s clash. In the wake of Valentine Holmes’ hamstring injury, Cronulla’s Beale slips into the position of fullback. Beale brings with him incredible versatility, with experience playing both in the second-row and on the wing.
Beale goes up against captain of the Broncos and one of the strongest fullbacks in the game, Darius Boyd. Boyd has played fullback for both Australia and Queensland, and was named the Broncos’ Player of the Year in 2016. While 2016 stats lean in Boyd’s favour, it would be foolish to underestimate the impact that Cronulla’s versatile Beale will have on tonight’s outcome.