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6:00pm Fri April 6, 2018
Round 5 - PointsBet Stadium - Crowd: 11855

Round 5: Sharks v Roosters preview

Well if there's been a more impossible game to tip this season, this would have to be it.

The home side come into this one with two wins under their belt - both grinding 14-4 victories over first the lowly Eels, then the much more formidable Storm. Conversely the Roosters come in off a loss - their second of the season, which bookended two wins in the second and third rounds.

The Tricolours weren't disgraceful in their 24-point loss to the Warriors on the weekend, but just thoroughly outplayed by a very good football team. On the other hand, Cronulla have been steadily improving. Their defence has been gritty and after the Roosters struggled to find points against the Warriors last week, they'll be backing their ability.

In terms of selections, Cronulla welcome back Josh Dugan and Matt Moylan. This pushes Edrick Lee (wing) out and Valentine Holmes back to fullback. Moylan's return pushes Trent Hodkinson out of the 17. The Roosters, surprisingly, are unchanged.

Last meeting: Round 25 2017 - Sharks 14 Roosters 16

These sides have met 93 times with the Roosters dominating, victorious on 57 occasions. At Southern Cross Group that balance remains with the Roosters winning 27 of 47. Having said that, the Sharks won both matches last year.

Who to watch: If he passes fit, Matt Moylan will be a very interesting player to watch. Missing for the last two weeks, Cronulla have managed to win on both occasions. It's evident he's not yet fully gelled with his spine - he need to click into gear fast or Trent Hodkinson may just find himself in the side full time.

Cooper Cronk made plenty of headlines with his off-season switch to the Roosters, but for the most part he's been fairly quiet on the field, leaving the flash, flair and focus on five-eighth Luke Keary after his return in Round 2. Cronk has so far taken a little time to wield his incredible skills at the Roosters, but if he's going to hit his straps, this is the perfect time.

The favourite: Despite last starts, the quality of the Roosters side has them better backed to return to the winner's circle.

My tip: If I didn't have to offer one I wouldn't. On balance I think the Roosters have more points in them, and that should be enough to get them home, despite a stoic Sharks defensive line.