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Sharks vs Dragons - Monty Porter Cup heading to the Shire

Cronulla and St.George-Illawarra reignite their rivalry at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday in what is a very important game for the men from the Shire.
Jayden Brailey
Jayden Brailey can be the difference maker at Shark Park on Sunday

Sharks vs Dragons Preview, Predictions & Betting

Sunday afternoon football is a cracker game between two local rivals looking to hold bragging rights until next year.

The Cronulla Sharks are coming off a disappointing loss to the Panthers in which the final score flattered them. They were out-played away from home and will look to bounce back this weekend.

The Dragons were winners against a poor Titans outfit at Jubilee Stadium. Although the Dragons will be happy with the win, they leaked five tries to a team that looks destined for the wooden spoon.

The Sharks need this win to keep their finals hopes alive and with the Dragons season all but over, they will look to make it hard for their rivals. 

Sharks Team News

The Sharks have made a couple of changes after their disappointing game last weekend against the Panthers.

Matt Moylan comes back into the lineup after sitting out last week with a concussion which had the flow-on effect. Josh Dugan moves to the centres with Josh Morris to the wing and the talented Ronaldo Mulitalo left out of the team.

The other change comes on the bench, with Andrew Fifita missing the game with a knee injury. Billy Magoulias comes onto the bench.

Dragons Team News

Two changes for the Dragons after their win over the Titans.

Luciano Leilua gets the nod from coach Paul McGregor to replace the injured Tariq Sims who is now out for the season with a groin injury.

Blake Lawrie jumps onto the bench to fill the spot left by Leilua.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a late change in the backline with both Zac Lomax and the talented Tristan Sailor sitting on the reserves.

Sharks vs Dragons Head To Head

The local derby between the Sharks and the Dragons has always been a tight contest regardless of where they are on the ladder.

Since 1998 these two teams have played 43 times with the Dragons having the edge 22 to 20 with one draw.

Over the past ten clashes between these two sides, St-George-Illawarra has a distinct advantage, winning seven of the those match ups.

Sharks vs Dragons Match Up

The match-up to focus on is the rakes in Jayden Brailey and Cameron McInnes.

Jayden Brailey is the typical hard-style rake that even Geoff Toovey would be proud of. There is no point talking about his stats because half the season he shared the workload with his brother  Blayke. Jayden led the team in tackles last week with an enormous 45. 

He isn’t a noted runner of the ball so if you see him dart from dummy-half, you know something is about to happen.

Cameron McInnes is an all-round dummy-half. He loves running when the situation warrants, he is a playmaker and a good tackler. He led the team in tackles last weekend with 50 and sits second in the NRL with tackles made with 981.

McInnes also sits third in dummy-half runs with 95 which is something that Cronulla will have to shut down. Shaun Johnson and Chad Townsend also have to be wary as McInnes is sitting second in the NRL for charge downs with three.

Sharks vs Dragons Key Statistics

  • Cronulla leads the league in line-break assists
  • Cronulla sit tied second in line-breaks
  • The last five matches between the Sharks and Dragons at PointsBet Stadium have gone under the total match points line

Verdict

Cronulla has everything to play for and I expect them to come out all guns blazing.

The Dragons season is essentially over, but they'll look to make it difficult for the sides pushing towards the finals, starting with the local rivals. Cronulla will be focused and will play hard for 80 minutes but I’m expecting the Dragons to make it hard for them throughout.

Best Bet: Cronulla To Win 1 - 12 @ 2.90 at Beteasy - 10 Units
To Score A Try At Anytime: Jayden Brailey @ 6.00 at Beteasy - 10 Units

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