Sharks looking to bounce back from Magic Round disappointment in Sunday afternoon Manly meeting

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Cronulla went down 36-16 to a Dolphins side that were celebrating the 900th game of Wayne Bennett’s coaching career on Saturday evening at Suncorp Stadium.

Bustling debutant Valynce Te Whare announced his arrival in style scoring a pair of tries that overjoyed the Dolphins-favouring crowd.

Manly, meanwhile, went down 32-6 to a clinical Broncos outfit with Maroons winger Selwyn Cobbo grabbing a hat-trick in a night Anthony Seibold’s men will hope to scrub from their memories.

The Sharks have named the same 17 that fell to the Dolphins in Magic Round with Dale Finucane named to start and Cameron McInnes named on the interchange after the pair swapped prior to kick-off.

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Manly, who are still without veteran middle Jake Trbojevic, have also named the same side that were beaten in Brisbane, however, Josh Schuster has been named among the reserves as he eyes a return from a troublesome quad.

Should Schuster be cleared, odds are he is elevated into the five-eighth jersey at the expense of Cooper Johns.

The Sharks have won three of their past four against Manly following an 11-year period in which the Sea Eagles lost just twice from 19 matchups between the sides.

Cronulla won both meetings between the sides last year – a 34-22 win in the Shire and a 40-6 drubbing on the Northern Beaches.

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The Sharks’ seven-tries-to-one rout at 4 Pines Park broke a seven-game losing streak at the venue last August.

Manly have won just two of their past seven and risk losing touch with the top eight as the State of Origin period approaches.

Seibold’s men will have their hands full containing Cronulla’s high-powered attack after conceding a combined 58 points over their past two games.

Much has been made of Tom Trbojevic’s recent form after the star fullback travelled to the United States for hamstring treatment over the offseason.


He has still managed a dozen try involvements and 153 average running metres through eight games this season – both near-elite marks for a fullback – but has been markedly hesitant contact-wise and has oftentimes look frustrated with the performance of both him and his teammates.

With Game I of this year’s State of Origin series just three weeks away, Trbojevic, among others appearing in this fixture, are running out of opportunities to stake their claim for a jersey.

Sharks half Nicho Hynes is one of the aforementioned players eyeing a nod and could go a long way towards earning a debut call-up should he outplay Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans on Sunday.

Cronulla enter this one as favourites with bookmakers expecting them to put their forgettable Magic Round outing behind them and secure their fourth win from five games.

Game & Team Details

Kick-off: Sunday 14 May (4:05pm), 4 Pines Park

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

Sea Eagles squad: 1. T Trbojevic; 2. Saab; 3. Parker; 4. Koula; 5. Garrick; 6. Johns; 7. Cherry-Evans; 8. Paseka; 9. Croker; 10. Keppie; 11. Olakau'atu; 12. Tuilagi; 13. Aloiai; 14. Lawton; 15. B Trbojevic; 16. Bullemor; 17. Woods; 18. Weekes; 19. Tuaimalo Vaega; 20. Harper; 21. S Fainu; 22. Schuster

Cameron Laing
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