Sharks look to kickstart finals charge vs. Titans

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The hosts are coming off a statement 26-16 win over the Rabbitohs at Perth’s Optus Stadium which infused the side’s postseason hopes with a major boost.

The Titans, on the other hand, went close to pulling off a huge upset against the Warriors on the Gold Coast despite being down a man for over three quarters of the contest after star forward Moeaki Fotuaika was sent off for a high shot that ended Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad’s evening.

They ultimately fell 28-18 due to a pair of late tries but remained competitive despite the difficult circumstances.

The Sharks are set to welcome Ronaldo Mulitalo back onto the wing with the New Zealand international having spent the past two weeks sidelined with a jaw issue.

Mawene Hiroti drops out whilst Jesse Colquhoun joins the interchange in place of Tom Hazelton after the towering prop suffered a head knock last week.


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Matt Moylan has been named on the interchange after earning a late call-up in Round 23 but not seeing any action.

The visitors welcome skipper Tino Fa’asuamaleaui back from a three-match suspension into the front row along with Jaimin Jolliffe who returns from a hand fracture.

Fotuaika is missing through suspension whilst Sam Verrills’ season is over after the club opted to send him for clean-out surgery.

Isaac Liu shifts back to the bench with Kruise Leeming earning a recall alongside him at the expense of Iszac Fa’asuamaleaui.

The sides met twice last season with the Sharks coming away with the chocolates on both occasions – a 25-18 Round 11 win at Cbus Super Stadium and an 18-10 win in Round 15 in Coffs Harbour.


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The Sharks have won eight on the trot against the Titans having not dropped a game to them since Round 19, 2017.

The Titans have not travelled to the Shire since early-2019 but have managed to win three of their past five at the venue.

Cronulla’s win over South Sydney snapped a three-game skid as they aim to push for a second consecutive finals berth.

The win pushed the Sharks into sixth on the competition ladder with four clashes remaining, although, they are still tied in the wins column with the Rabbitohs, Eels, and Cowboys and are only a singular competition point ahead of the Knights.

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The next month of football firms as a decisive one with Craig Fitzgibbon’s men desperate to extend their season into mid-September.

The Titans postseason hopes have been virtually dashed with Jim Lenihan’s squad having won just one of their past six.

Attention on the Gold Coast is firmly on incoming coach Des Hasler who will look to implement his regime as soon as the calendar ticks over.

The Sharks are firm favourites heading into this one with bookmakers expecting Fitzgibbon’s squad to extend their winning streak over the Titans and continue their march towards the finals.


Game & Team Details

Kick-off: Friday 11 August (6:00pm), PointsBet Stadium

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

Titans squad: 1. Campbell; 2. Khan-Pereira; 3. Kelly; 4. Schoupp; 5. Sami; 6. Foran; 7. Boyd; 8. Jolliffe; 9. Randall; 10. T Fa'asuamaleaui (c); 11. Fifita; 12. Stimson; 13. Clark; 14. Leeming; 15. Liu; 16. Haas; 17. Kini; 18. I Fa'asuamaleaui; 19. Weaver; 20. Alick; 21. Vuna; 22. Francis


 

Cameron Laing
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