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Sharks wary of the ‘wounded’ Tiger

The Wests Tigers have never lost their opening five games, while another loss on Sunday will see them set a club record for eight straight defeats dating back to last season.

On the surface the slow start to 2022 from their opponents as shown by the results so far, against the strong form of the Sharks through the first four weeks, indicates what might be perceived as a one-sided affair, but the Cronulla side certainly aren’t thinking that way or taking the Tigers lightly, acutely aware of the challenge the face this weekend.

“They have a lot of strong, powerful players,” Sharks backrower Teig Wilton offered. “We know they’ll be starting fast, coming out hard, so we need to be ready for that.”

“They’ve got a point to prove and I think they’ll come out firing,” Braden Hamlin-Uele said in agreeing with his teammate’s sentiments.

However, all that being said, it has been an impressive start to the season for the Sharks, capped off by the 18-0 victory over the Knights in their most recent outing.

“That was the most pleasing part, keeping a team to zero. Consistency is the key for us though,” Hamlin-Uele added.

Similarly, Wilton, who has been amongst his teams best to start the year, was excited about how the Sharks had kicked off 2022.

“It’s only the start of the year, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but there are good signs,” Wilton said.  

The Sharks come into the contest having held a team scoreless for the first time since their premiership season of 2016, ironically against the same opponent in Newcastle, the 18-0 win coming after consecutive victories over the Eels and Dragons.

On the flip side, the Tigers have yet to chalk up a vicrory in 2022, although they could be considered desperately unlucky not to have beaten the Titans, giving up the lead with one-minute of the match remaining in going down by 8-6 last Thursday night.

In team news, the Sharks have retained Siosifa Talakai in the centres after his man of the match performance against Newcastle, however Aiden Tolman is a late withdrawal due to illness. 

Jack Williams, Royce Hunt and Mawene Hiroti remain in the squad, with the final 17-man team to be announced one hour prior to kick-off. 

In the head-to-head matchup, of the 33 games played between the Sharks and the joint-venture club, the Wests Tigers have 18 wins, Cronulla 14, with one draw.

Although the overall record favours the Tigers, in their most recent clashes the Sharks hold the upper hand, having won seven of the past eight games, with the past three decided by 12 points or more

The last meeting saw Cronulla score a resounding 50-20 win in Round 23 in Rockhampton in a match which saw Will Kennedy, Sione Katoa, Ronaldo Mulitalo and Luke Metcalf all register try-scoring doubles.

At PointsBet Stadium, the Sharks have won the past three, and four of the past five games against Tigers, although overall the visitors have the edge, winning eight of the 15 games played, with one draw since 2001.

Through four rounds in 2022 the Sharks are conceding the fewest tries and equal fewest points, while the Tigers are scoring the second fewest tries and points

The Sharks v Tigers match is scheduled to get underway at 4.05pm at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday.

See below the two team lists.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 18 Starford To'a
  • Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
  • Centre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Oliver Gildart
  • Centre for Sharks is number 4 Siosifa Talakai
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 16 Luke Garner
  • Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
  • Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Jock Madden
  • Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Nicholas Hynes
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks

Forwards

  • Prop for Sharks is number 8 Toby Rudolf
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 James Tamou
  • Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
  • Prop for Sharks is number 10 Braden Hamlin-Uele
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Zane Musgrove
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Kelma Tuilagi
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Teig Wilton
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
  • Lock for Sharks is number 13 Dale Finucane
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Cameron McInnes
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Tyrone Peachey
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Andrew Fifita
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Alex Twal
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 18 Jack Williams
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Alex Seyfarth
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 21 Royce Hunt
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 20 Thomas Mikaele

Reserves

  • Replacement for Sharks is number 19 Mawene Hiroti
    Replacement for Wests Tigers is number 19 Jake Simpkin

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

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.