Round 10 Preview: Raiders vs Sharks

Canberra Raiders vs Cronulla Sharks
GIO Stadium
Sunday, May 12th, 2018
4pm AEST, 6pm NZ

Team Lists
Raiders: 1 Jack Wighton, 2 Nick Cotric, 3 Jarrod Croker (c), 4 Joseph Leilua, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Blake Austin, 7 Aidan Sezer, 8 Iosia Soliola, 9 Siliva Havili, 10 Shannon Boyd, 11 Joseph Tapine, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Josh Papalii
Interchange: 14 Ata Hingano, 15 Luke Bateman, 16 Charlie Gubb, 17 Dunamis Lui
Reserves: 18 Liam Knight, 19 Michael Oldfield
Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jesse Ramien, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Edrick Lee, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Kurt Capewell, 14 Joseph Paulo, 13 Paul Gallen (c)
Interchange: 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Avagalu Seumanufagai, 17 Jack Williams, 18 Kurt Dillion
Reserves: 19 Braden Uele, 20 Briton Nikora
Match Preview
The Canberra Raiders and the Cronulla Sharks go head to head in the final game of round 10 down in Canberra. Both teams are looking to grab a confirmed place in the top 8, with the Raiders just hanging onto 8th place while the Sharks are trying to get themselves into the 8. Both teams are coming off wins in their last start, with the Raiders knocking off the Titans at home while the Sharks were outplayed in the final 5 minutes by the Eels, just scraping home with the 2 points. 
The Raiders have had a smooth buildup coming into the game, Shannon Boyd starts at prop for Junior Paulo (foot, eight weeks) and Charlie Gubb joins the bench. Craig Garvey and Jack Murchie were omitted from the squad on Saturday afternoon.
The Sharks haven't had the smooth buildup, with injuries from last week and a virus knocking out a few players. Jayson Bukuya is out with a virus, so Joe Paulo comes into the back row. Paull Gallen was named, but is rumored to be out this week which could see Paulo move to lock and Ava Seumanufagai coming in. 
Key match ups
Austin v Moylan
Blake Austin has had a bit of a form resurgence since he was brought back into the team a few weeks ago. He has managed to guide the Raiders around well, allowing Sezer and Wighton to try and work some magic with both the back row and the men out wide. Matt Moylan has been a bit all over the shop this year, however he has managed to come into form in the last few weeks in the same way that Blake Austin has for Canberra. Both players could very well go and break this game apart if it falls that way for them.
Front Row v Front Row
If Vince McMahon was a Rugby League fan, he would be getting one off over this contest. Andrew Fifita and Matt Prior going up against Iosia Soliola and Shannon Boyd, with Boyd looking at a possible Origin spot in the future. Fifita has been the backbone of the Sharks go forward this year, amassing a ton of metres to go with a bunch of offloads. Shannon Boyd has been one of the best props this year, and NSW will be looking at him carefully as he comes up against a former prop. 
Leipana? 
BJ Leilua and Jordan Rapana are the most threatening outside combination in the league bar none. The Sharks have been surprisingly good with finishing off plays considering the names that are popping up. They are also doing a half decent job of shutting down teams in the last few weeks, bar those 5 minutes against Parramatta. This could be one of the better battles of the round.
Prediction
Canberra are the favourites here, which doesn't surprise me. They've been in okay form and the Sharks away record isn't great. However, the Sharks do pose a threat if the Raiders fall asleep for a few minutes. It could go either way, but my money is on the home team in a tight one. 
Raiders: 24-20
Chumpie


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