Cronulla Sharks vs. North Queensland Cowboys
MATCH UP STATS
Cronulla Sharks vs. North Queensland Cowboys
Season record:Cronulla Sharks: 7-3North Queensland Cowboys: 6-4
Line betting:Cronulla Sharks: -6 ($1.91 @ Sportsbet.com.au)North Queensland Cowboys: +6 ($1.91 @ Sportsbet.com.au)
First try-scorer tips:Cronulla Sharks: Luke Lewis - $17 @ Crownbet.com.auNorth Queensland Cowboys: Kyle Feldt - $14 @ Crownbet.com.au
Thursday, May 18, 7.50, Southern Cross Stadium.
THE Sharks are showing no signs of slowing down in its hopes to win back-to-back NRL premierships after beating Melbourne in the final last year.
The beach boys have won four of their last five games, with the only recent loss coming to the Titans, which just scored its own victory against the mighty Storm. Included in that streak were wins against the Tigers, Storm, Panthers and last week against the Dragons.
That narrow 18-14 win came over an under strength Dragons side, but the Sharks would have been happy with the way they fought the entire game as they prepare to face another under strength side.
The Cowboys will again be without Johnathan Thurston, but that mattered little when they dismantled the Bulldogs 30-14 last game. They did welcome back the likes of Jake Granville and Lachlan Coote, which was all they needed to find their groove this season.
It also helped that Michael Morgan had one of his best games this season and along with the try-scoring efforts of future Queensland representative Coen Hess, the Cowboys still boast one of the more impressive line ups on paper in the NRL.
This is a game the Sharks can’t take lightly and the Cowboys measure up in the head-to-head match ups very well. The bookmakers have the Sharks as the -6 favourites and we think that’s spot on for the early punters.
With so much try-scoring talent on show, we look at the individual players which should fire in this game. As Origin season picks up, there are certain players trying that much harder to get noticed and we think they could shine in this Thursday night game.
Sharks first try scorer market and tips
The Sharks boast an impressive team and the try-scoring threats are aplenty. Names such as Feki, Beale, Holmes and Bird make the Sharks threats to score across the park.
The forward pack is packed full of stars and punters should see top efforts from Paul Gallen and Andrew Fafita as Origin looms.
Sosaia Feki – $9.50
Gerard Beale – $9.50
Valentine Holmes – $13
Jack Bird – $14
Kurt Capewell – $15
Ricky Leutele – $15
Luke Lewis – +1600
Wade Graham – $17
James Maloney – $21
Chad Townsend – $26
Andre Fafita – $26
Jeremy Latimore – $26
Joseph Paulo – $31
Jayden Brailey – $31
Chris Heighington – $34
Paul Gallen – $34
Matt Prior – $36
We think there could be a few surprises in the try-scoring ranks this week. The wingers and outside backs are well-favoured in the betting, but the Cowboys have strong wing defenders and we think the ruck might be the way the Sharks attack.
This plays right into the hands of Luke Lewis, who will be sitting just off the play of the ball and he has the strength to cross for the try. Lewis, whilst injury prone, has the ability to play well at this time of the year and the $17 at Sportsbet.com.au makes him a worthwhile betting inclusion.
Wade Graham had an amazing season last year and although he’s been quiet this season, Graham will be pushing for an Origin spot and a big game here will take him a long way.
Graham is a confidence type of player and we think he’ll regain his confidence in this game against the Cowboys. Graham is $17 to score first, but the +240 at CrownBet to score at any time is the best bet for Graham backers.
Cowboys team and try scoring tips
Antonio Winterstein – $14
Kyle Feldt – +1300
Coen Hess – $18
Justin O’Neill – $18
Lachlan Coote – $21
Kane Linnett – $21
Michael Morgan – $23
Jake Granville – $23
Ben Hampton – $23
Gavin Cooper – $31
Jason Taumalolo – $31
Ray Thompson – $31
John Asiata – $31
Shaun Fensom – $31
Ethan Lowe – $36
Scott Bolton – $67
Ben Spina – $67
The Cowboys have one of the best teams in the NRL and a number of their players are in scintillating form, but none more so than Coen Hess.
The young superstar had another multiple try-scoring game last time out and he’s another rising star for both the Cowboys and the Queensland Origin side.
Hess typically finds his groove midway through the game so he’s not the best first try scoring suggestion, but he’s $3.50 to score at any time and we got the chocolates against the Bulldogs so we’ll continue to tip him.
A first try-scorer threat is Kyle Feldt who has a knack of getting an early try and the Sharks wing defense is susceptible at times. Feldt is one of the bigger wingers in the NRL and his ability to catch the high ball makes him a threat, so take the $14 on offer and he’ll give punters a good sight.
Sharks vs. Cowboys game tip
This should get round 11 off to a cracking start and it’s hard to split the sides. The Sharks are one of the form sides in the NRL, but the Cowboys are getting healthy and we saw what they did to the Bulldogs in round 10.
The Cowboys have won only five of 15 games at this stadium and the home advantage should be enough to see the Sharks edge the Cowboys, but there won’t be much between them.
The current line of six points is bang on the mark and if the line drifts to +6.5, or punters want to take the alternative line, then we suggest backing the Cowboys with the points.
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