Cronulla Sharks v Canterbury Bulldogs Sunday, May 20, 4:10pm (AEST) Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney
The Sharks have squeezed their way into the Top 8 on the back of four straight wins and will fancy their chances at home against the Bulldogs. They will be boosted by the return of Paul Gallen, while the Bulldogs will have their hands stopping Andrew Fifita who is playing in career-best form.
FormCronulla have moved up to eighth on the ladder on the back of four straight wins. The Sharks are 4-1 against teams outside the Top 8 this year. The Sharks rank 13th in scoring while they are a much better seventh in defence. Cronulla have scored 20 or more in four of their last five. Canterbury have moved up to 13th on the ladder following their third win of the season, a 20-12 win over Parramatta. The Bulldogs rank ninth in defence but are a lowly 15th in scoring despite scoring 20-plus in their last two. Canterbury have scored more than 21 points just once this year.
Key MatchupAndrew Fifita v Aaron Woods: Andrew Fifita is leading the Dally M leaderboard and with good reason. He was sensational in the win over the Raiders last week, polling three points in his huge 80-minute effort, which saw him make 43 tackles and offloading at will. On the flip side, Aaron Woods has been a flop since signing for the Bulldogs and his NSW Origin jersey looks in jeopardy. He will need a big performance if he is to win selection ahead of teammate David Klemmer, and the likes of Paul Vaughan and Reagan Campbell-Gillard.
Stats That Matter– Cronulla are 4-6 ATS with a 6-4 under record while Canterbury are 4-6 ATS with a 7-3 under record, having gone under in six of their last seven. – The Sharks have won three straight against the Bulldogs after losing eight of the previous nine. – Canterbury have won five of the last seven against Cronulla at Shark Park. – Low scorers have been common with nine of the last 10 failing to break 36 total points. – The Sharks are 17-24 ATS with a 24-17 under record at Shark Park with just five covers in their last 18 at the ground. – As a favourite at Shark Park Cronulla are 11-21 ATS with a 20-12 under record with just two covers in their last 13. – When favoured by 6 or more, Cronulla are 6-12 ATS with a 12-6 under record. – The Sharks have covered just 2 of their last 14 at home off a win. – The Bulldogs are 13-28 ATS away from ANZ since 2015 with a 27-14 under record. – The Bulldogs are 4-17 ATS with a 13-8 record away from ANZ off a win. – As an underdog away from ANZ, Canterbury are 10-16 ATS with a 16-10 under record.
Final ThoughtsThe Sharks are the masters of the grind and nothing will be different in Cronulla on Sunday. Nine of the last 10 clashes between the Sharks & Bulldogs have failed to break 36 total points. The unders is the best play as a result.
How It’s Shaping UpCronulla by 4
Recommended BetsBest: Under 38.5 ($1.91) Value: Cronulla 1-12 ($3) First Tryscorer: Jesse Ramien ($13)