Sydney Roosters v Cronulla Sharks
Saturday, 8 September, 7:50pm
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
The Roosters won the only match between these two sides this season, a 28-10 win in round five. Ryan Matterson scored a double for the Roosters, with Valentine Holmes crossing twice for Cronulla. Despite dominating possession (56 per cent), the Sharks struggled to break the Roosters down, with the Chooks going on to possess the best defence in the National Rugby League across the home and away season. Cronulla has lost its last two matches against the Roosters, but prior to that won six on the trot dating back to 2014.
Stats That Matter
- The Roosters conceded the least number of points in the competition this season (361 points). The Sharks were third best, giving away only 423 points in total this season.
- The Sharks have one of the worst completion rates in the National Rugby League at only 75 per cent. Gold Coast is the only side worse than the Sharks, with 74 per cent completions this season.
- The under is 9-10 in matches between these two sides since 2008.
- Cronulla is 12-7 against the spread since 2008, including covering on eight straight occasions from 2013-2017. The Sharks have failed to cover in their past two encounters against the Chooks.
- Roosters half back Cooper Cronk has scored his fewest points this season since 2010. He has failed to kick a field goal since 2016, when he slotted three for the Melbourne Storm.
The big question mark for the Roosters coming into this game is how they handle the losses of Dylan Napa and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the forward pack. The Wolf knows that this won’t be Paul Gallen’s final season, but the Sharks captain would love nothing more than a ticket straight into the preliminary final and for his beloved Sharks to taste premiership success twice in three seasons. Valentine Holmes is a superstar and is matched by rising Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell. Although not directly opposed to one another, the pair are both going to be pivotal for their respective teams. The Roosters have the edge in the halves, with Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary steering the ship. The fitness of Sharks’ centres Ricky Luetele and Jesse Ramien will also be important heading into this game. It’s a toss of a coin to decide this one, and its come up blue and white. Sharks to win.
How It Shapes Up
Cronulla by 1.
Best: Cronulla 1-12 ($3.20)
Value: Cronulla 1-6 ($5.25)
First Tryscorer: Andrew Fifita ($41)