Sharks host Raiders in crucial Sunday clash

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The hosts are coming off an underwhelming 32-6 loss to the high-flying Knights in Newcastle with star half Nicho Hynes watching from the sideline after he withdrew late due to a quad concern.

The Raiders, meanwhile, went down to the top-of-the-table Broncos 29-18 in the nation’s capital on Saturday night.

Hynes makes a needed return for the Sharks into the No. 7 jersey with Braydon Trindall shifting to five-eighth and Matt Moylan reverting to the interchange.

Jesse Colquhoun is the man to drop out whilst Oregon Kaufusi has been named among the reserves as he eyes a return from a finger injury.

Wade Graham has been named in the second row for the final regular season outing of his NRL career at PointsBet Stadium.

Josh Papali’i has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a bicep issue in a major blow for the Raiders with Hohepa Puru coming onto the interchange for his NRL debut.

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The twin brother of Sharks development player Niwhai, the 21-year-old came through the Penrith system before linking up with the Raiders over the offseason.

A Windsor Wolves junior, Puru has made 22 appearances for the Raiders’ Knock On Effect NSW Cup squad this year averaging 133 metres.

Corey Horsburgh has been named to start at lock but fronts the judiciary on Tuesday night to contest a grade-one Shoulder Charge.

A successful bid to overturn the charge will make him available for Sunday’s clash whilst an unsuccessful challenge will see the Maroons star rubbed out for four matches.

Jordan Rapana has been named at fullback with Sebastian Kris on the wing and Jack Wighton in the centres.

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The two sides last met in Round 3 this season at GIO Stadium with a Horsburgh double willing the Raiders to a 24-20 win.

The Raiders are riding an incredible nine-game winning streak over the Sharks having not lost to them since Round 19, 2018.

Canberra have also won five of their past six at PointsBet Stadium.

The Sharks (32 pts, +104) and the Raiders (32 pts, -119) are currently sitting sixth and seventh on the competition ladder with the winner of the clash to secure a home qualifying final.

The Knights sit a competition point ahead of both sides and face the 16th-place Dragons on Saturday night at Kogarah.


With Kalyn Ponga, Dane Gagai, Tyson Frizell and Phoenix Crossland all sitting out for the Knights, the Dragons are currently listed as narrow favourites.

Should Newcastle be beaten, a win would see the Sharks or Raiders leapfrog them into outright fifth.

The Rabbitohs-Roosters clash on Friday night will also dictate who plays who come the first week of the finals whilst the Panthers-Cowboys clash also has the ability to throw a spanner in the works.

If all the current favourites were to win this weekend, the Sharks would face the Raiders again next week in a do-or-die qualifying final.

Cronulla enter the clash as short-priced favourites with bookmakers expecting the hosts to put an end to their five-year-long losing streak at the hands of Canberra.

Game & Team Details

Kick-off: Sunday 3 September (4:05pm), PointsBet Stadium

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

Raiders squad: 1. Rapana; 2. Kris; 3. Wighton; 4. Timoko; 5. Čotrić; 6. Frawley; 7. Fogarty; 8. Guler; 9. Woolford; 10. Tapine; 11. Young; 12. Whitehead (c); 13. Horsburgh; 14. Starling; 15. Mariota; 16. Croker; 17. Puru; 18. Saulo; 19. Hopoate; 20. Mooney; 21. Levi; 22. Schiller


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