NSW Cup Preview: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Cronulla Sharks
Thursday 15 August 2013 3:00 PM
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Vs Cronulla Sharks
Belmore Sports Ground, Friday, August 16
Referee: Phil Henderson
Such has been the dominance of the Cronulla Sharks in 2013, they have already secured the Minor Premiership despite there still being a month left in the competition. At the other end of the spectrum we find the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs who suffered their 17th loss of the year against the Vulcans last weekend and as a result find themselves four points behind the second-last-placed Roos.
The Dogs gave the Vulcans the fright of their lives when they trailed by just four points late in the clash until a late Vulcans try saw them scrape home. The Sharks meanwhile were never in danger as they led the Tigers 30-0 at half time and ultimately went on to win 46-6.
The Sharks have named a near unchanged line up here however Dayne Weston has been named to start in place of Siosaia Vave who will come off the bench. For the Bulldogs, they should get back both Drury Low and Joel Romelo for this one after neither made the trip to Auckland but they do look set to be without the services of Lachlan Burr.
When these two sides clashed earlier this year back in Round Six, the Dogs pushed the Sharks all the way before ultimately going down 28-16, so the home side will feel that they may be able to pull off what would be a massive upset at home on Friday night.
Talking Point: Time for some fine tuning – After sealing the Minor Premiership last weekend, the Sharks could be forgiven for beginning to turn their attention towards week one of the finals series already.
In week one they will take on whichever side finishes in fourth with the Jets looking their most likely opponent at this stage. The Sharks take on the Dogs (13th) this weekend followed by clashes against Manly (11th) and Wentworthville (10th) and will then finish the season with a bye in Round 26.
Some people may argue that a side heading into the finals would prefer a tougher run home than playing three of the four sides near the foot of the ladder, but at this stage of the season, Tony Herman would know what he has to work with, and it will all be about putting the polish on their preparation heading into the finals.
Prediction: Definitely a trap game for the Sharks but they should still be too strong. Sharks by 10.
Mounties Vs Illawarra Cutters
Canberra Stadium, Saturday, August 17
Referee: Michael Laverty
Broadcast: LIVE on Fox Sports 1
Article courtesy of NSWRL