Week 24 of the Telstra Premiership action continues as the Cronulla Sharks host the Canberra Raiders on Sunday afternoon, and it’s the visitors who will be expected to make most of the running in this game – at least according to the bookies.
Bookmakers make the hosts, Cronulla, outsiders at 2.38 with Bet365. Visitors Canberra are clear favourites and although they’re priced as low as 1.57 with BetVictor, you can still back them at 1.70 with Unibet.
The hosts come in to this game in what looks like poor form on paper having lost four of the last five, but really, they’re really in-form. They’re just consistently poor. The Raiders haven’t been much better, and the only thing keeping them above the Sharks is the small matter of 57 points in the differential.
Despite sitting just above their equally dissapointing opponents, the Raiders have gone one better in the form table, losing their last five games and all of them have been in convincing fashion.
The recent 54-18 thrashing at the hands of the Warriors summed up everything that’s bad about this team. A couple of the Sharks most recent losses were rather close, and the win over the Roosters at Allianz Stadium was equally suprising and impressive.
I suppose all that really proves is anyone can beat anyone on their day, but the abysmal Sharks attack has failed to put a single point on the board in four of their games, scoring six or less on three further occassions.
As if the Sharks didn’t have enough problems hanging over their heads, they still have the small matter of the five players who were allegedly involved in the 2011 supplements programme. Three of those players were left out of this weekends squad anyway, but Skip Paul Gallen and Anthony Tupou have been called upon.
It remains to be seen whether those two actually will be available for Sharks selection now, and it will be a blow, as this lot essentially need all the help they can get.
Neither side has a great offence, but both definitely have terrible defence. This game is nothing more than trying to avoid the wooden spoon at this stage and whilst the quality on show may not impress you, the nature of the game may well entertain you.
Both teams are likely to have a go at one another on Sunday afternoon and we should point out it’s the Sharks who have won the last two games.
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