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NRL Preview - Sharks v Bulldogs

As results continue to come in during the last round of the regular season, it appears more and more likely the Sharks will head to ANZ Stadium on Sunday as a final hit out ahead of a week one finals clash against the Storm.

Melbourne will more than likely wind up as minor premiers, setting up a potential clash with the Sharks who are in fourth, but don't be telling Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan that anything is a forgone conclusion or that his team will take their eyes off their first task - which is a game against an inform Bulldogs outfit this weekend.

"I'm not counting our chickens too early in relation to fourth, the teams below us are all just two points behind us, they could all win and one of them could put a score on, so I don't want to be looking over our shoulder and counting on for-and-against. I want to go out there and win," Flanagan said.

"The Bulldogs are playing fantastic football at the moment and its going to be a really tough game.

"Our focus is to go there (ANZ v Bulldogs), win that game, wrap up fourth position and then more than likely we play Melbourne in Melbourne."

Flanagan however is essentially correct in his assessment in a couple of areas. Big wins from the Dragons or Broncos, or a heavy defeat for the Sharks, could quickly change the equation and the week one finals match-ups.

And also on point is the coach's recognition of the recent run of form being displayed by the Canterbury side, a winning run that includes three victories in their past four starts, two of those against the finals-bound Warriors and Broncos.

On the flip side, the Sharks have also been building towards something with the big games just around the corner, with consecutive victories over the Knights, Cowboys and Storm, seeing them head to ANZ Stadium with plenty of confidence.

Adding to their positivity, the Sharks are set to field a full strength forward pack, Matt Moylan returns at five eighth after a minor injury issue and Valentine Holmes has been unstoppable at the back, emphasised by his record-breaking 20th try last Sunday in the game against the Knights.

It all adds up to an intriguing round 25 contest for a Bulldogs side with pride on the line and a Sharks team determined to finish with a win to set up their run to the major prize which awaits a month down the track.

The Sharks v Bulldogs match is scheduled for a 2.00pm kick off at ANZ Stadium, with the Sharks 19-man squad listed below. Jesse Ramien and Ava Seumanufagai come out of the originally selected 21. 

Sharks NRL Team List

1 Valentine Holmes
2 Sosaia Feki

3 Josh Dugan
4 Kurt Capewell

5 Edrick Lee

6 Matt Moylan

7 Chad Townsend
8 Andrew Fifita
9 Jayden Brailey
10 Matt Prior

11 Luke Lewis 

12 Wade Graham

13 Paul Gallen


14 Scott Sorensen

15 James Segeyaro

16 Aaron Woods

17 Jayson Bukuya 

18 Joseph Paulo

21 Kyle Flanagan

Tale of the tape 

Matches played - 90

Sharks 34 wins

Bulldogs 54 wins
2 draws

At ANZ Stadium

Played 10

Sharks 4 wins

Bulldogs 6 wins

Last eight matches
Sharks 4 wins
Bulldogs 4 wins

Biggest margins

Sharks 52 Bulldogs 10, Sydney Football Stadium, 2001

Bulldogs 42 Sharks 4, ANZ Stadium, 2014

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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