Saturday’s second NRL Round 16 match is between Cronula Sharks and New Zealand Warriors. The opening bounce is set to commence at 15:35 local time with the game to be played at Shark Park. The home team Cronulla Sharks are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Cronula Sharks and New Zealand Warriors.
When: 15:35 | Saturday 25/06/2016
Where: Shark Park
Tip: Cronulla Sharks at $1.30
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Matt Prior at $15.00
Sharks: 1 Ben Barba 2 Sosaia Feki 3 Jack Bird 4 Gerard Beale 5 Valentine Holmes 6 James Maloney 7 Chad Townsend 8 Andrew Fifita 9 Michael Ennis 10 Sam Tagataese 11 Luke Lewis 12 Wade Graham 13 Paul Gallen. Interchange: 14 Ricky Leutele 15 Chris Heighington 16 Matt Prior 17 Jayson Bukuya 18 Joseph Paulo.
Warriors: 1 Tuimoala Lolohea, 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Blake Ayshford, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Thomas Leulua, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 Jacob Lillyman, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Albert Vete, 11 Bodene Thompson, 12 Ryan Hoffman (c), 13 Simon Mannering. Interchange: 14 Nathaniel Roache, 15 Sam Lisone, 16 Ben Matulino, 17 Charlie Gubb, 18 Ata Hingano, 20 Toafofoa Sipley.
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden admits it might not have been pretty.
But he rates his side’s tense 12-10 NRL win over the Sydney Roosters in Auckland above their big victories over Brisbane and Newcastle in the previous two rounds.
The Warriors had to overcome a head knock to five-eighth Thomas Leuluai, who left the field after nine minutes, and winger Ken Maumalo’s sin-binning to secure a result that lifted them temporarily into the top eight.
McFadden, who was without prop Jacob Lillyman because of State of Origin duty and experienced wing Manu Vatuvei through injury, came away highly satisfied with the performance on Sunday.
“I would say it was better than the last two, just because we got challenged today, one by a very spirited team and then we had our own internal challenges in terms of changes,” he said.
“It’s important for us to do that. We kept a team to 10 points in what was difficult conditions.”
The Roosters, second bottom on the ladder, produced some swarming defence to keep the Warriors at bay.
It took some Shaun Johnson magic to help put the home side out to beyond a converted try with a quarter-hour to go.
Johnson, who was nursing a thigh strain, stepped his way to the try-line and Issac Luke’s fourth goal made it an eight-point game.
But the Warriors had to survive a nervous final 10 minutes after Connor Watson scored a converted try.
Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall then made a huge break that threatened another four-pointer but his attempted pass went astray.
McFadden said the Warriors got the aggressive challenge they had expected from the Roosters.
“Although it wasn’t pretty, we stayed composed,” he said.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson was proud of the way his side, without Origin representatives Blake Ferguson and Aidan Guerra, bounced back from their 46-0 thumping at the hands of Melbourne.
“We put the pressure on the Warriors and I thought we saw a courageous team out there tonight,” he said.
But Robinson also rued missed chances.
“I was really proud and then really disappointed that we couldn’t take some of those opportunities,” he said.
“We probably had two at the end there.”
Maumalo was sin-binned midway through the opening spell after he obstructed opposite number Joseph Manu as the latter chased a kick into the in-goal.
Up a man, the Roosters pounced, with prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves producing the offload that led to a try for back rower Mitch Aubusson.
Maumalo came back and made amends by racking up 181 run metres.
Luke, who took over the kicking duties from Johnson, landed three penalties to edge the home side ahead before Johnson produced his individual effort.
The Warriors had young forward Toafofoa Sipley put on report for an alleged chicken wing tackle on Kane Evans.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change