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NRL Match Preview: Round 18 v Titans

Riding a wave of local support, the Sharks will aim to remain undefeated in Coffs Harbour against the Titans on Friday night.

Twenty-four hours from kick-off, Cronulla have made one change to their 17 with prop Toby Rudolf out of the squad and Tuku Hau Tapuha elevated to the bench.

Winger Tom Rodwell is 18th man and Jayden Berrell 19th, while Jesse Colquhoun and Braden Hamlin-Uele have joined Rudolf in being omitted to play for the Jets.

The NRL team have immersed themselves in the community this week, hosting a meet and greet with hundreds of junior players after arriving on Tuesday before welcoming Members to an open captain's run session on Thursday.

The Sharks haven't lost at C.ex International Stadium since the Coffs partnership began in 2021. After a 15-14 loss in golden point to the Bulldogs last week, coach Craig Fitzgibbon hopes to get back on track at their happy hunting ground.

"This is our fourth year coming to Coffs Harbour," Fitzgibbon said.

"The guys really enjoy getting away. We've spent a number of days up here and got some good training done and a bit of community work.

"It's become a home away from home for us so far," he enthused, but later cautioned, "We'd be naïve to rely on the fact we've won here before."

Despite the heartbreaking fashion of the defeat to Canterbury, Fitzgibbon saw plenty of positives from his troops as they prepare for the run to the finals.

"We weren't really comfortable prior to the bye (in Round 16)," Fitzgibbon said.

"We had a win in Brisbane, we played alright that night, but there were a couple of performances in which, throughout the course of the game, we weren't playing the same footy or defending as well as we were over the weeks previous.

"Last week was a really good performance.

"Obviously, we didn't ice our moments and throughout the course of the game discipline really hurt us and we gave up field position ... But as for performance, effort and the way we want to play, it was a big step in the right direction for us."

Despite the disparity in their ladder positions, with Cronulla sitting outright third and Gold Coast 10 points below in 15th, the Sharks are wary of their opponents.

Given the Titans flogged the Warriors 66-6 – their highest score in club history – before a bye last round, Fitzgibbon noted they are "clearly a capable team" who may simply have taken time to adjust to new coach Des Hasler's systems.

"We'll be ready for the best version of them and they're going to be ready for us," Fitzgibbon said, with Cronulla looking to make it 10 straight wins over the Titans.

Slow starts have been a killer for the Sharks, who fell agonisingly short after trailing the Bulldogs 12-0 and the Dolphins 22-0 at their past two starts.

The boys in the black, white and blue are clinical frontrunners, having won all six games when ahead or level at halftime in 2024, making a quick getaway crucial.

The Titans are hunting for back-to-back wins for the first time this season, being the only team other than Parramatta not to have secured consecutive victories.

See the updated 19-man team lists below.

Kick-off tomorrow is at 6pm. If you're not attending the game, catch the action on Fox League, Kayo or live and loud at Sharks at Kareela.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Keano Kini
  • Winger for Sharks is number 2 Daniel Atkinson
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Alofiana Khan-Pereira
  • Centre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
  • Centre for Sharks is number 4 Kayal Iro
    Centre for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor
  • Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Jojo Fifita
  • Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Braydon Trindall
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 18 Tanah Boyd
  • Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Nicholas Hynes
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Kieran Foran


  • Prop for Sharks is number 10 Oregon Kaufusi
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Sam Verrills
  • Prop for Sharks is number 15 Royce Hunt
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Erin Clark
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 David Fifita
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Siosifa Talakai
    2nd Row for Titans is number 20 Jacob Alick-Wiencke
  • Lock for Sharks is number 13 Cameron McInnes
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Chris Randall


  • Interchange for Sharks is number 8 Thomas Hazelton
    Interchange for Titans is number 14 Isaac Liu
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Jack Williams
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Josiah Pahulu
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Teig Wilton
    Interchange for Titans is number 16 Keenan Palasia
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 21 Tuku Hau Tapuha
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Joe Stimson


  • Replacement for Sharks is number 19 Tom Rodwell
    Replacement for Titans is number 22 Jaylan De Groot

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

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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