Round 19: Roosters v Sharks preview
A Saturday night showdown at the SCG sees two sides with finals spot secured take each other on as the Sydney Roosters play host to the Cronulla Sharks.
The Roosters sent a warning shot to the other teams in the top 8 last weekend when they put on a scrappy but impressive 42-12 victory over the Newcastle Knights. The tri-colours last weekend could've put on a bigger score if they were able to hold onto the ball and take full advantage of their opportunities.
Coming into this game, the Roosters sit in third spot with a jump into second spot looking highly unlikely sitting four points behind the Storm.
The Roosters have won 4 of their past 5 matches having only lost three matches since the resumption of the season. The return of key players as well as the inclusion of Sonny Bill Williams who had a massive impact on the game last weekend.
The Roosters have named Boyd Cordner in their side despite failing to finish last weekend's match against the Knights.
James Tedesco has been rested by coach Trent Robinson for this week's clash with Joey Manu named at fullback for the Roosters.
The Cronulla Sharks secured their spot in the NRL top 8 with an unimpressive 22-14 victory over the New Zealand Warriors last weekend. The Sharks lacked any sort of rhythm in their victory and it was only two tries in the final ten minutes that got them to the lead and in front.
2020 has been a tale of frustration so far for the Sharks fans who despite having locked in their finals spot.
Cronulla have struggled to find consistency this season and have always looked to be a step behind the other sides in the top 8 having not beaten a side above them this season.
Who to watch: One of the more underrated performers in the Roosters side, Joseph Manu has been an outstanding performer on the wing and this weekend and comes in to the fullback role with James Tedesco being rested. The move to the fullback role will be big shoes to fill with Tedesco playing a key role in the Roosters spine combining in attack.
Sharks halfback Shaun Johnson has had to take on a key role for the Sharks in their attack and despite being one of the best halves in the competition, Johnson's has had up and down performances this season. His control of the Sharks attack will be important up against a Roosters side that can suffocate attacks to the point their attack is out of ideas.
The favourite: Unsurprisingly, the Sydney Roosters are massive favourites for this contest considering their recent form and ladder position.
My tip: The Roosters should win this game with ease, the Sharks haven't set their world on fire and their struggles to get past the Warriors show the difference in class of the teams. Even with the fact that the Roosters have lost James Tedesco, the Roosters have a better squad on paper and with the addition of SBW's ball playing which was on show last week should cause plenty of issues for the Sharks. Roosters by 24.