Sharks aiming to bounce back against struggling Bulldogs

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Cronulla are coming off a 54-10 thumping at the hands of the Storm in what proved to the be the side’s worst defensive effort of Craig Fitzgibbon’s tenure.

Canterbury, meanwhile, fell to the Eels 34-12 in a Monday afternoon belter at Homebush with Parramatta skipper Clint Gutherson snagging a first-half hat-trick.

Cronulla enforcer Royce Hunt was taken from the field late in the side’s last-start loss following a hip drop tackle that resulted in Storm captain Christian Welch being binned.

Scans later revealed that the Sāmoan international suffered a ruptured syndesmosis and will undergo surgery on Wednesday which is set to keep him sidelined for six weeks.


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Welch will miss Melbourne’s clash against the Wests Tigers this week after being cited by the match review committee.

Hunt’s absence paves the way for Oregon Kaufusi to start in the front row with Tom Hazelton joining the interchange.

Toby Rudolf has been named among the reserves as he looks to make a return from a foot injury that has kept him out of action since Round 5.

Nicho Hynes’ omission from the Blues squad for Origin II generated plenty of chatter, however, it means the star playmaker will be available for Cronulla on Sunday afternoon.

The Bulldogs will be without Blues star Josh Addo-Carr with Braidon Burns slotting onto the wing for his first NRL outing since Round 9.


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Tevita Pangai Jr. will start in the front row alongside Chris Patolo after being overlooked for Origin II.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner remains sidelined as he recovers from illness that has kept him out since Round 11.

These two sides last met at Accor Stadium in Round 8 with the Sharks coming away with a 33-20 victory.

The Sharks have won 10 of their past 12 against the Bulldogs and have not lost to them in the Shire since Round 23, 2011.

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With just two wins from their past five, the Sharks have dropped out of the top four for the first time since early May.

The Bulldogs have been victorious in just two of their past nine and are only two points out of last-place on the ladder.

Cronulla missed 57 tackles against the Storm and made 14 errors in a disastrous afternoon that they will want to wipe their memory of come Sunday.

Fitzgibbon’s men enter the clash as favourites with bookmakers expecting the Sharks to take care of the Bulldogs are keep their strong Shire record intact.


Game & Team Details

Kick-off: Sunday 18 June (4:05pm), PointsBet Stadium

Sharks squad: 1. Kennedy; 2. Katoa; 3. Ramien; 4. Talakai; 5. Mulitalo; 6. Moylan; 7. Hynes; 8. Kaufusi; 9. Brailey; 10. Hamlin-Uele; 11. Nikora; 12. Wilton; 13. Finucane (c); 14. McInnes; 15. Graham; 16. Williams; 17. Hazelton; 18. Tracey; 19. Trindall; 20. Rudolf; 21. Atkinson; 22. Colquhoun

Bulldogs squad: 1. Perham; 2. Kiraz; 3. Averillo; 4. Alamoti; 5. Burns; 6. Oloapu; 7. Burton (c); 8. Patolo; 9. Mahoney; 10. Pangai Jr.; 11. Okunbor; 12. Preston; 13. Edwards; 14. Rajab; 15. Morrin; 16. King; 17. Waddell; 19. Skelton; 20. Flanagan; 21. Brown; 22. Topine; 23. Pele 


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