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NRL Match Preview: Round 10  v Storm

Weathering the Storm in Melbourne can be a daunting task, but the sentiment among the Sharks squad is one of excitement leading into a top-of-the-table clash at AAMI Park.

Both teams are on five-match winning streaks and sit on 16 competition points, with the victor to claim outright first place on the ladder.

Cronulla and Melbourne have waged several epic battles over the past decade, most notably the historic 2016 grand final which the Sharks won 14-12.

While the Storm are missing key personnel including fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen (ankle), halfback Jahrome Hughes (calf) and winger Xavier Coates (hamstring), it's never easy to topple Craig Bellamy's men on their home turf.

Tyran Wishart will step into Hughes' role to partner five-eighth Cameron Munster, while electric rookie Sua Fa'alogo has been named in the No.1 jersey.

Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon is preparing for a Melbourne outfit at their best despite the injury toll, noting they've found a way to win when the likes of Papenhuyzen and Hughes have been sidelined in recent seasons.

"It's a relatively consistent start," Fitzgibbon said of his team's 7-1 record.

"We don't feel like we're where we need to be yet either ... We need to improve in a few areas to be competitive against Melbourne in Melbourne.

"Not many teams come down here and have much joy, so we need to be better."

In 14 encounters at AAMI Park since 2010, the Sharks have won just twice (they went back-to-back in 2017-18) while losing the past five. Melbourne are on an overall 14-game winning streak at the venue dating back to March 2023.

However, Cronulla have enjoyed success on the road in recent times with five victories in their past seven fixtures away from PointsBet Stadium.

"We're understanding it's going to be a difficult challenge, but we're excited for that. That's part of what we need to do," Fitzgibbon added.

"But it's also very early in the season. There's a long way to adjust."

The Sharks have conceded the fewest points in the competition (110 – 13.75 per game), prioritising their work without the ball. They will need to present another firm black, white and blue wall to keep the Storm at bay.

"It's no fluke the best defensive sides win the competition and hold that trophy at the end of the year," Sharks hooker Blayke Brailey said.

"We know we need to be (in) that top four, top three sides in the competition in defence and I know Fitzy (Fitzgibbon) drives it massively here."

A knee injury to prop Toby Rudolf has forced Fitzgibbon to make one change to the 17 that beat the Dragons last week, naming Royce Hunt on the bench.

The Sharks are otherwise building important continuity with Nicho Hynes and Daniel Atkinson linking in the halves for a third consecutive game. The duo know what to expect from the Storm having made their NRL debuts for the club.

Undaunted, the Sharks are eager to match motors with a perennial powerhouse.

"You definitely want to test yourself against the best teams and the Storm are up there at the top of the table," second-rower Teig Wilton said.

Kick-off tomorrow is at 7.35pm, with live coverage on Foxtel and Kayo.

See the updated 19-man team lists below.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Sualauvi Faalogo
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Will Warbrick
    Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
    Centre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Nick Meaney
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Kayal Iro
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Grant Anderson
    Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Daniel Atkinson
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Tyran Wishart
    Halfback for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey


  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Christian Welch
    Prop for Sharks is number 8 Thomas Hazelton
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
    Hooker for Sharks is number 13 Cameron McInnes
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Josh King
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Oregon Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Shawn Blore
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Teig Wilton
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Trent Loiero
    Lock for Sharks is number 14 Jack Williams


  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Siosifa Talakai
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Alec MacDonald
    Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Royce Hunt
  • Interchange for Storm is number 19 Jack Howarth
    Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Braden Hamlin-Uele
  • Interchange for Storm is number 22 Tui Kamikamica
    Interchange for Sharks is number 18 Tuku Hau Tapuha


  • Replacement for Storm is number 14 Bronson Garlick
    Replacement for Sharks is number 21 Kade Dykes

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Adam Gee

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.

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