Sharks host Roosters in do-or-die affair

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Despite a push from some corners of the public, the NRL have resisted moving the clash to a venue with a larger capacity instead opting to play the anticipated final in front of approximately 12,000 fans in the Shire.

Cronulla secured themselves a home final after finishing atop the Raiders 24-6 on Sunday afternoon at the same venue with Ricky Stuart’s men playing the final quarter of the match a man down after Sebastian Kris was sent off for an ugly spear tackle on opposing winger Sione Katoa.

The Roosters, meanwhile, punched their ticket to the postseason off the back of a 26-12 win over arch-rivals South Sydney at Accor Stadium on Friday night.

Despite being without injured stars Joseph Manu and Daniel Tupou, the Roosters were dominant for much of the night with late tries to Sam Walker and Billy Smith capping off the win.

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They were left with a nervous wait but secured their spot thanks to the Panthers’ Saturday night victory over the Cowboys.

It took them winning their final five games to qualify for the finals but Trent Robinson’s men will look to put a disappointing start to the season behind them and make some noise over the coming weeks.

The Sharks have named the same 17 that took care of the Raiders in Round 27 but Will Kennedy has been listed among the reserves as he eyes a timely return from a hamstring injury.

Connor Tracey has been named at fullback but may be ruled out late due a knee complaint picked up a week ago.

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The Roosters have named star centre Joseph Manu to return from a hamstring issue after he missed their last-start win over South Sydney.

Corey Allan drops back to the reserves whilst Fletcher Baker has been named to start up front with Egan Butcher reverting to the interchange.

Daniel Tupou remains out for the Tricolours after being scratched late last week with a knee issue.

These two sides last met earlier this year with the Sharks running out 22-12 winners at PointsBet Stadium in Round 7 in a clash that saw Victor Radley, Nat Butcher, and Brandon Smith all spend time in the sin bin for the Tricolours.


Prior to that, the Roosters had enjoyed a seven-game winning streak over the Sharks.

The two sides have met twice in the finals arena with the Roosters coming away with a pair of wins – qualifying finals in 2002 and 2018.

Bookmakers are having a difficult time separating the two sides with neither side currently the favourite.

The winner of this clash will advance to face the loser of Saturday evening’s clash between the minor premier Panthers and the Warriors on the road.

Game & Team Details

Kick-off: Saturday 9 September (7:50pm), 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. Kaufusi; 18. Iro; 19. Atkinson; 20. Colquhoun; 21. Kennedy; 22. Moylan

Roosters squad: 1. Tedesco (c); 2. Pauga; 3. Billy Smith; 4; Manu; 5. Sua'ali'i; 6. Keary; 7. Walker; 8. Baker; 9. Brandon Smith; 10. Collins; 11. Wong; 12. N Butcher; 13. Radley; 14. S Smith; 15. E Butcher; 16. May; 17. Crichton; 18. Hutchison; 19. Whyte; 20. Allan; 21. Paulo; 22. Napa

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