The Cronulla Sharks take on Newcastle Knights on Friday in a crucial battle in the race for the NRL finals. The Knights fell to their biggest loss of the season last week, can they stop a surging Sharks side at McDonald Jones Stadium?
Knights Form & Teams News
Newcastle Knights are 7th on the NRL ladder, one point above the Sharks. They won three games in a row starting with a crushing 44-4 win against Wests Tigers.
Newcastle won 26-24 against Manly before a 12-0 win against the Cowboys. They fell back to reality after their heaviest defeat of the season last week.
The Knights lost 36-6 against the New Zealand Warriors in Tamworth. Gehamat Shibasaki scored in the 19th minute but it was one way traffic from there, ordinary defending on their own try line.
Daniel Saifiti (knee), Sione Mata'utia (ankle) and Pasami Saulo (suspension) are all due back next week. Bradman Best and Edrick Lee are due back in rounds 19-20.
Tim Glasby is out indefinitely with concussion. Andrew McCullough, Connor Watson, Jayden Brailey and Blake Green are out for the season.
Two changes to the bench with Phoenix Crossland replacing Chris Randall and Brodie Jones in for the suspended Pasami Saulo.
The Knights team for Friday is below:
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Starford To’a 3. Enari Tuala 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Kurt Mann 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Mitchell Barnett 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Herman Ese’ese 16. Josh King 17. Brodie Jones 18. Tex Hoy 19. Jirah Momoisea 20. Tautau Moga 21. Chris Randall
Sharks Form & Team News
The Cronulla Sharks are holding onto 8th spot in the NRL ladder, four points ahead of the New Zealand Warriors. The Sharks beat the Warriors 46-10, St George Illawarra 28-24 and Brisbane 36-26 before a close 14-12 loss against Parramatta.
They bounced back with a 30-18 win against the Titans but lost 38-12 against the Penrith Panthers. Cronulla bounced back once again last week, beating the North Queensland Cowboys 28-12.
Halfback Shaun Johnson will miss a further week. Matt Moylan has a hamstring tear and could miss the rest of the season.
Jackson Ferris is due back from a knee injury in the coming weeks. Centre Bronson Xerri has been stood down and won’t play again this season.
Halfback Chad Townsend returns to the starting side, Connor Tracey moves to the bench and Andrew Fifita to the reserves.
The Sharks team for Friday is below:
1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Chad Townsend 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Toby Rudolf 14. Connor Tracey 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Siosifa Talakai 17. Royce Hunt 18. Jack Williams 19. Bryson Goodwin 20. Teig Wilton 21. Andrew Fifita
Knights vs Sharks Head to Head
Newcastle Knights have a 29-24-1 advantage against Cronulla Sharks in 54 games. The Sharks won eight in a row from 2015 to 2018, Newcastle snapping the run last year with a 14-8 win.
Knights vs Sharks Odds
Newcastle Knights are available at $1.89, with Cronulla Sharks available at $2.00.
Knights vs Sharks Stats
- Newcastle Knights have won 3 of their last 4 games.
- Newcastle Knights lost by 30 points last week, their largest defeat of the season.
- Cronulla Sharks have won 8 of their last 9 games against Newcastle Knights.
- Cronulla Sharks have won 8 of their last 11 games.
- Cronulla Sharks have averaged 27 points in their last 7 games.