Sharks head to CommBank to face lowly Wests Tigers

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Cronulla are coming off a 52-16 win over the Dragons at PointsBet Stadium in which Ronaldo Mulitalo and Briton Nikora both snagged doubles.

The Wests Tigers, meanwhile, suffered the biggest loss in club history going down to the Cowboys 74-0 at QLD Country Bank Stadium in one of the most lopsided contests in professional rugby league history.

Sharks skipper Dale Finucane will be unavailable after copping a two-match ban for a Grade One Dangerous Throw charge.

As a result of Finucane’s absence, Cameron McInnes starts at lock forward with Jesse Colquhoun coming onto the interchange for his first game of the season.


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The Sharks will also welcome Toby Rudolf back from a three-month injury layoff into the front row after he made a successful return in KOE NSW Cup last weekend.

He comes in for Braden Hamlin-Uele who suffered a rib injury in the side’s win over the Dragons.

For the Wests Tigers, David Nofoaluma and Brent Naden both suffered shoulder injuries in the loss to the Cowboys with Asu Kepaoa coming onto the wing and Tommy Talau into the centres.

Fonua Pole will start at lock pushing John Bateman to an edge and Shawn Blore back to the interchange.


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Alex Twal will be missing for the Wests Tigers after he was hit with a one-match ban for a Grade Two Dangerous Contact charge with debutant Aitasi James coming onto the interchange.

Hailing from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand, the 22-year-old has started 15 games for Western Suburbs at KOE NSW Cup level this season having averaged 120 run metres.

The Wests Tigers are still without hooker Apisai Koroisau as he recovers from a fractured jaw.

This clash is the only one of the round in which both teams are not contending with State of Origin absences.

Cronulla-rsl

The last time these two sides met was in Round 22 last year with the Sharks coming away with a convincing 36-12 victory at Scully Park in Tamworth.

Cronulla have won nine of their past 10 games against the Wests Tigers and have won three of their past four clashes at CommBank Stadium.

Having won back-to-back games by a combined margin of 74 points, the Sharks are back at third on the ladder whilst he Wests Tigers have dropped back to 17th after dropping their past four games.

The visitors enter the clash as favourites with bookmakers forecasting Craig Fitzgibbon’s men to continue their strong point-scoring form and get the job done at CommBank Stadium.


Game & Team Details

Kick-off: Thursday 6 July (7:50pm), CommBank Stadium

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

Wests Tigers squad: 1. Bula; 2. Kepaoa; 3. To'a; 4. Talau; 5. Tupou; 6. Laurie; 7. Wakeham; 8. Utoikamanu; 9. Simpkin; 10. Klemmer; 11. Papali'i; 12. Bateman (c); 13. Pole; 14. Da Silva; 15. Blore; 16. Seyfarth; 17. James; 18. Matamua; 19. Smith; 20. Reilly; 21. Tumeth; 22. Feledy


 

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