Saturday’s second NRL Round 5 match is between Wests Tigers and Cronulla Sharks. The opening bounce is set to commence at 16:35 local time with the game to be played at Campbelltown Stadium. The away team Cronulla Sharks are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Wests Tigers and Cronulla Sharks.
When: 16:35 | Saturday 02/04/2016
Where: Campbelltown Stadium
Tip: Cronulla Sharks at $1.74
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Andrew Fifita at $20.00
Tigers: 1 James Tedesco 2 David Nofoaluma 3 Tim Simona 4 Kevin Naiqama 5 Jordan Rankin 6 Mitchell Moses 7 Luke Brooks 8 Aaron Woods 9 Robbie Farah 10 Tim Grant 11 Christopher Lawrence 12 Dene Halatau 13 Jesse Sue Interchange: 14 Avagalu Seumanufagai 15 Kyle Lovett 16 Joshua Aloiai 17 Manaia Cherrington 18 Jack Buchanan
Robbie Farah has been named to start at hooker, with Dene Halatau shiftingto a back row that includes Chris Lawrence, who is back from suspension.
Sharks: 1 Ben Barba 2 Sosaia Feki 3 Jack Bird 4 Ricky Leutele 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 Jayson Bukuya 15 Chris Heighington 16 Matt Prior 17 Joseph Paulo
Skipper Paul Gallen (knee) is back on deck which pushes Gerard Beale out of the same 17 that defeated Melbourne on Monday night.
A frustrated Shane Flanagan has questioned whether the send off is dead in the wake of Melbourne winger Marika Koroibete’s ugly trip on Chad Townsend on Monday night.
The Fijian international is likely to come under the scrutiny of the NRL match review committee after the controversial incident in the Storm’s fiery 14-6 win over the Storm at Shark Park.
In the 60th minute, Sharks halfback Townsend darted out of dummy half looking to take advantage of a quick play-the-ball, but was tripped over by Koroibete who stuck out his right leg.
A push-and-shove ensued and the incident was put on report, with the ensuing James Maloney penalty goal proving the icing on the cake for what was a tough win against the previously unbeaten Storm.
Sharks coach Flanagan questioned why Koroibete had not been sent off after watching one of his players cop heavy treatment from foul play for the second week in a row.
The week before, centre Jack Bird was collected high and without the ball by Manly enforcer Martin Taupau, who also remained on the field, but was subsequently banned for a week, a punishment that was roundly criticised as too lenient.
Flanagan argued a trip was a send off offence and wondered why the Storm weren’t reduced to 12 men for the rest of the game.
“It wasn’t that bad, but it was a trip,” Flanagan said.
“I don’t know what you’ve got to do now (to be sent off).
“Obviously, there was the one last week when Birdy got knocked out and another one this week. There’re not that many people getting sent off these days, they’re being put on report.
“A trip’s a trip.”
Earlier in the game, Melbourne centre Will Chambers was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for a professional foul on Valentine Holmes after attempting to slow the play-the-ball after a Sharks break.
The game became heated at times, with Sharks prop Andrew Fifita on several occasions nearly coming to blows with Storm players, including Cooper Cronk.
The send off has become a rare occurrence in recent years, leading some to question whether referees have become too gun shy.
In round 22 last year, then Canberra prop David Shillington became the first player to be sent off in two seasons when he headbutted Wests Tigers forward Aaron Woods.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy did not comment on the Koroibete incident, saying he had not reviewed it.
“I only saw it quickly, I didn’t get a look at the replay. That’s out of our hands, (the MRC) will have a look at that,” he said.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change