Cronulla Sharks v Penrith Panthers Sunday, April 22, 4:10pm (AEST) Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney
The Sharks left WIN Stadium with a heavy injury toll after their 40-20 loss to the Dragons. Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Andrew Fifita and Luke Lewis all suffered injuries in the 20-point loss. Gallen will miss this clash against the Panthers, while Graham, Fifita and Lewis have all been named in the squad but it could pay to check final team news on Sunday. The Panthers are flying at 5-1 and have proved that they can get the job done minus Nathan Cleary. James Maloney has been in sensational form and would love to leave Cronulla with a win over his former club. Josh Mansour misses the clash with a broken cheekbone.
FormCronulla are 13th on the ladder with a 2-4 record. They have lost their last two, conceding 68 points in those two defeats. The Sharks have not posted more than 20 this year. Penrith have won five of their six matches this year and have scored 33-plus in two of their last three. Penrith have conceded more than 14 just once this year.
Key MatchupMatt Moylan v James Maloney: It would be fair to say that James Maloney has been happy with his move to Penrith, while Matt Moylan is still finding his feet in the Shire which has been made all the more difficult with Shane Flanagan not settling on his spine. Moylan has been named in the No.6 jersey this week, but the jury is out if that’s his best position. Maloney has been scintillating in Nathan Cleary’s absence and his experience has come to the fore. He tore the Titans apart last week and will want to remind Flanagan of what he let go as he chased the likes of Moylan and Josh Dugan.
Stats That Matter– Cronulla are 2-4 ATS with a 4-2 under record while Penrith are 4-2 ATS with a 3-3 total record. – The Sharks hold a 47-38-3 advantage all-time against the Panthers. – Cronulla have won three straight and eight of the last 10. – The Sharks have won the last three at Shark Park. – Four of the last five meetings have failed to break 38 points. – Home underdogs of 4 or more in the first eight rounds of the season are 83-34 ATS since 2008 (66% Rounds 5-8). – The Sharks have covered just 3 of their last 15 at Shark Park. – As an underdog at the ground, the Sharks are 5-3 ATS while they are 21-11 ATS as an underdog. – The Sharks have covered 3 of their last 4 at home after conceding 30 or more. – Penrith have covered just 5 of their last 14 as a favourite away from home. – The under is 11-1 when the Panthers are away off a double digit win.
Final ThoughtsIt’s impossible to trust the Sharks with their current injury toll and you couldn’t back them with any confidence while Flanagan continues to chop and change his fullback and five-eighth on a weekly basis. The Sharks defence will prevent a blowout, but the form of Maloney will prove the difference and get the job done for the Panthers.
How It’s Shaping UpPenrith by 6
Recommended BetsBest: Penrith 1-12 ($3) Value: HT/NT Double – Cronulla/ Penrith ($7.50) First Tryscorer: Matt Moylan ($17)