MATCH UP STATS
Round 3 resultsCronulla Sharks: Sharks 14 defeated Eels 4Melbourne Sharks: Storm 30 defeated Cowboys 14
THE re-match of the 2016 grand final is the headline event on Friday night as the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm square off in a pivotal early season battle.
Both teams come into this match fresh off wins and will be looking to keep that momentum rolling into the Easter break.
The Sharks did what they had to against the winless Parramatta Eels outfit last week, but face a steep rise in class on Friday night. The home side does welcome back superstar Matt Moylan from injury, which will be a plus.
The Melbourne Storm took care of the Cowboys in the grand final re-match, with the team having four individual try scorers en route to a solid 30-14 win.
In a big boost for the premiers, Kenny Bromwich returns to the bench, further strengthening one of the better teams in the league.
Sharks vs. Storm players to watch
Josh Dugan – The fullback has been decent since signing with the Sharks, adding experience to a young back line. The NSW and Australia representative found his way across the try line in round one, but has yet to since. He’ll be keen to show his best form against the premiers.
Billy Slater – The superstar Slater was well below his best against the Tigers in round two, the side’s only loss for the season. Slater bounced back strongly against the Cowboys, playing a big part in the Storm’s victory against the Cowboys. We think 34-year-old will have a point to prove here.
Cronulla Sharks team list
1 Josh Dugan, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jesse Ramien, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Valentine Holmes, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Luke Lewis, 12 Wade Graham, 13 Paul Gallen (c)
Interchange: 14 Kurt Capewell, 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Avagalu Seumanufagai, 17 Joseph Paulo
Melbourne Storm team list
1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Brodie Croft, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Joe Stimson, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Dale Finucane
Interchange: 14 Tim Glasby, 15 Kenny Bromwich, 16 Christian Welch, 17 Sam Kasiano
Who wins – Sharks or Storm?
On current form the Sharks will struggle to match the reigning premiers.
It was an uncharacteristically ugly performance by the Storm two weeks ago, but they bounced back strongly against the Cowboys, helping boost our confidence that the round two loss was just an aberration.
The Sharks only scored a single try last week, having to rely on Chad Townsend’s four penalty goals to get the win. It’s never a good way to register the premiership points.
We’re backing the premiers to win this one. They have far too much class around the park for the Sharks, who will struggle to match their scoring prowess.
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