Round 22 Key Match-Ups

The next chapter in the fierce rivalry between Melbourne and Cronulla will play out this afternoon at AAMI Park, with the congested premiership ladder set to add extra weight to the clash.

Both the Sharks and Storm will be looking to rectify last-start losses, but back-to-back losses for the Sharks in particular have stalled their top four charge.

In the past 20 matches between the two sides the Sharks have failed to score over 18 points against the Storm, with Melbourne having won their past three matches at AAMI Park, and six of eight matches in Melbourne this season.

The Sharks are definitely one team that can get under Melbourne's skin, and this afternoon's clash is sure to be a physical contest.

If the Sharks don't get the job done this afternoon they can pretty much say farewell to any chance of securing the double shot in September.

Let's take a look at some of the key match-ups.

 

Valentine Holmes vs Billy Slater

A regular fixture in the key match-ups, Sharks fullback Valentine Holmes has been in red-hot form over the past couple of months.

Val only needs one more try to equal the record for most tries by a Shark in a season. Something he has done once before in 2016 when he drew level with David Peachey on 19, but couldn't cross the stripe for number 20.

Popping up all over the park, latching on to offloads from his counterparts, Val's try-scoring run has been a joy to watch. Let's hope it continues this afternoon against the Storm.

On the other side of the park is Storm fullback Billy Slater, who this week announced he would hang up the boots at the completion of the 2018 season.

Like Val he's quick on his feet and can pop up anywhere in attack, something the Sharks defensive line is sure to be wary of.

The battle of the number ones this afternoon will be electric, but only one will come out on top.

 

Matt Moylan vs Cameron Munster

How about this one for a match-up. Two of the NRL's best young halves set to go head-to-head this afternoon.

Sharks five-eighth Matt Moylan has found his feet in the black, white and blue and will almost certainly have plenty to say if the Sharks are to win this one.

In attack, whenever 'Moyza' gets a hold of the ball the opposition defence starts second guessing. It's exciting to watch and opens up plenty of opportunities for the Sharks.

In defence, teams tend to target Moylan but he can more than hold his own.

If the Sharks keep the ball moving off the back of the forwards offloads, both Moylan and Holmes have an abundance of skill to make the magic happen.

Cameron Munster is now firmly established as a No.6 in the NRL, providing plenty of spark in the Storm attack.

Just like the Storm with Moylan, the Sharks will need to be on song to shut down Munsters space and opportunities to stall the Melbourne attack.

Two young, exciting halves with plenty to play for. A juicy match up.

 

Jayden Brailey vs Cameron Smith

It's easy to forget how young Jayden Brailey is, having seamlessly slot into the vacant Hooker role in 2016, establishing himself as the first choice number nine for the Sharks in no time.

Over the last two seasons Jayden has worked extremely hard on his game. He always gives the crispest of service and is a brick wall in defence.

Although his game time has been limited over the last few weeks, this afternoon's game against the Storm could see him with more minutes.

'Brailz' leads the charge, directing his forwards around the middle of the park, always the first to throw his body on the line against the opposition pack. He provides the structure and go forward before Segeyaro slots in to tear apart the tired defence, something that seems to have been working for the Sharks in 2018.

Cameron Smith on the other hand is the most established number nine in the game.

This year he's had to adjust his role to take on more play making responsibility with the departure of Cooper Cronk to the Roosters, but he's taken control as Cameron Smith does.

The Sharks know how to ruffle his feathers though, so expect plenty from the Sharks in both attack and defence!

 

Kick-off between the Sharks and Storm is scheduled for 4:10pm on Sunday. The match will be broadcast live on Channel Nine and Fox League.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Billy Slater
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 Valentine Holmes
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
    Winger for Sharks is number 2 Josh Dugan
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Will Chambers
    Centre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Curtis Scott
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Ricky Leutele
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Sharks is number 20 Sosaia Feki
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad Townsend

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Sharks is number 8 Andrew Fifita
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Cameron Smith
    Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Jayden Brailey
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Matt Prior
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Luke Lewis
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 17 Joe Stimson
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale Finucane
    Lock for Sharks is number 13 Paul Gallen

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 12 Ryan Hoffman
    Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Scott Sorensen
  • Interchange for Storm is number 14 Kenneath Bromwich
    Interchange for Sharks is number 15 James Segeyaro
  • Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tim Glasby
    Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Aaron Woods
  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Christian Welch
    Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Jayson Bukuya