Round 5 Key Match-Ups

Tonight's game pits two of the competition heavyweights against one another, with both teams priding themselves on their physical nature.

It should be an arm wrestle from the opening whistle, a rugged contest guaranteed. Take a look at some of the key match-ups across the park tonight that could help to decide this one.

Matt Prior vs Dylan Napa

One of the most consistent performers so far in 2018 for the Sharks, Matt Prior will look to continue on with his opening form tonight against the Roosters pack.

In the first four rounds of NRL action he's built himself an average of over 100 metres per game with a tackle efficiency rating of over 90%.

On the other side of the contest, pressure is mounting on the Tri-colours big men, with none averaging 100m so far in 2018.

Dylan Napa and fellow prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves have copped a bit of flack of late, and will be looking to come out firing against the Sharks after losing the yardage battle 1420m to 848m last week.

Not only have Matt Prior and Andrew Fifita been laying a good platform for the Sharks halves to work with, but Cronulla's very own man mountain in Ava Seumanufagai is waiting on the bench to take over when they need a spell.

 

Chad Townsend vs Cooper Cronk

Chad Townsend has been on fire with the boot, slotting 17 from 17 so far in 2018.

He's shown that he's more than capable of fulfilling the Shark's goal-kicking duties, seeing the results of his hard work during the pre-season come to life.

The 27-year-old playmaker has really stepped up to the plate so far this season in both attack and defence, and will be looking to pick up where he left off last week against the Storm.

Cooper Cronk’s arrival at the Roosters over the summer from Melbourne signalled one of the biggest pick-ups of the NRL era at any club.

He's one of those footballers who seems to be able to get the best out of the player's around him, and coach Trent Robinson has come out and said that his combination with halves partner Keary is only going to get better.

The Roosters sloppy start to the season has restricted the opportunities of Cronk so far, and the Sharks will be hoping to contain him once more tonight.

Both men will be out to steer their side to victory and the all important two competition points on offer.

 

Luke Lewis vs Boyd Cordner

After missing the opening three rounds due to injury, Luke Lewis returned last week with a bang.

Solid in defence as always, Lewis made 30 tackles against the Storm with an efficiency rating of 100%, running for 83 metres on the night as well.

The Roosters have struggled defensively so far this season, their 80 ineffective tackles sitting second only to the Newcastle Knights.

Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner will be aiming up against the Sharks pack, he knows his side hasn't been playing the football he would like them to, and if they lose tonight they risk slipping out of the top eight.

 

Both teams will enter this clash with an air of optimism. But only one will come away with the victory.

The NRL kick off is scheduled for 6.00PM, you can pre-purchase your tickets here.
 

Head to Head
Matches played – 93
Sharks 34 wins
Roosters 57 wins
Draws 2

At Southern Cross Group Stadium
Sharks 18 wins
Roosters 25 wins
Draws 2

Past eight matches
Sharks 6 wins
Roosters 2 wins