2018 NRL – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks vs Canberra Raiders Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 20th July, 09:00 (UK)

Where? Southern Cross Group Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks vs Canberra Raiders will not be televised live in the UK
Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - N/A
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=SHA1918

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

SHARKS

Head Coach: Shane Flanagan

Starting 13: Holmes, Katoa, Ramien, Leutele, Lee, Moylan, Townsend, Fifita, Brailey, Prior, Sorensen, Graham, Gallen – Interchanges: Paulo, Segeyaro, Woods, Bukuya – Reserves: Seumanufagai, Feki, Dillon, Flanagan

Unavailable: Josh Dugan, Jack Williams, Luke Lewis, Kurt Capewell

  • As they have done for most of the season, Cronulla picked up an important win against Penrith last week as the Sharks firmly remained in the hunt for a top 4 place. They’re level on points with the fourth-placed Roosters after a solid 12-24 win at Panthers Stadium.

  • The Sharks make just one change to last week’s team with Kurt Capewell dropping out with a finger injury. He is replaced by Jesse Ramien in the centres.

  • The Sharks are 5-3 at home this season whilst they have only lost two of their last eleven games.

RAIDERS

Head Coach: Ricky Stuart

Starting 13: Abbey, Cotric, Oldfield, Leilua, Rapana, Austin, Williams, Lui, Hodgson, Paulo, Soliola, Whitehead, Papalii – Interchanges: Murchie, Bateman, Havili, Knight – Reserves: Garvey, Hunt, Guler

Unavailable: Jack Wighton, Shannon Boyd, Joseph Tapine, Jarrod Croker, Aidan Sezer

  • Canberra kept their season alive with a strong performance over North Queensland last week. The Raiders ran in seven tries with Michael Oldfield scoring three of those as they secured an important 38-12 win.

  • After a huge blow with the news that skipper Jarrod Croker will miss the season with a knee injury, the bad news kept coming for the Raiders with Aidan Sezer out with a hamstring injury. He is replaced in the side by Blake Austin with Jack Murchie set for his NRL debut from the bench. Michael Oldfield slots in at centre with Nick Cotric back on the wing and Brad Abbey at fullback.

  • The Raiders have won three of their last four games but face a tough test here, especially with the players they have unavailable at the minute. They also have a 3-5 record away from home this season, further highlighting their challenge.

THE PREDICTION

Nobody seems to have really paid attention to Cronulla this season as they quietly go about their business but they have all of the tools to mount a Grand Final challenge. They host a Raiders team with everything on the line as they bid to keep their own challenge to make the play-offs alive. Canberra produced another good win last week and coupled with Brisbane’s loss, they closed the gap on the Broncos to just four points. However, without influential captain Jarrod Croker and in-form halfback Aidan Sezer, this will be a massive ask of the Raiders to win their fourth game in five. The Sharks are on a run of 9-2 and could find themselves in the top 4 by the end of the weekend if results go their way but they will do their part here.