The Raiders knocked the Sharks out of the finals last year and will be looking to beat their rivals once again.
With both teams coming off victories in round one - this week’s match is sure to be full of fireworks.
The Raiders won against the Tigers 30-12, with a dominant second-half performance after being tied 6-6 at halftime.
This week the Raiders will be looking to make the most of their chances against a Sharks outfit that scored 32 points against the Dragons in round one.
Raiders coach, Ricky Stuart, has named an unchanged starting line up from last week. Ryan James and Ryan Sutton will be looking to make an impact off the bench again after impressive round one performances. Young gun Sebastian Kris will get another run at left centre with Jarrod Croker still out.
The Sharks have made just one change to their team this week, with centre Mawene Hiroti coming in for the suspended Jesse Ramien.
Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William KennedyFullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione KatoaWinger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey Simonsson
Centre for Sharks is number 3 Josh DuganCentre for Raiders is number 3 Sebastian Kris
Centre for Sharks is number 4 Mawene HirotiCentre for Raiders is number 4 Curtis Scott
Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo MulitaloWinger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt MoylanFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Raiders is number 7 George Williams
Prop for Sharks is number 8 Braden Hamlin-UeleProp for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke BraileyHooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh Hodgson
Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron WoodsProp for Raiders is number 10 Dunamis Lui
2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
Lock for Sharks is number 13 Toby RudolfLock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph Tapine
Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Connor TraceyInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Siliva Havili
Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Aiden TolmanInterchange for Raiders is number 15 Ryan Sutton
Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack WilliamsInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Iosia Soliola
Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Billy MagouliasInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Ryan James
- Referee: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Matt Noyen
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Senior Review Official: Chris Butler
Last Time They Met
The Raiders defeated the Sharks 32-20 during week one of the 2020 NRL finals. Jack Wighton provided one of his best performances of the year to get the Raiders over the line.
Match Highlights: Raiders v Sharks
George Williams v Chad Townsend
Both halves were pivotal in their team’s wins last week, directing their respective teams around the field and setting up scoring opportunities with their kicking game.
George Williams was able to step up when the Raiders needed a playmaker against the Tigers. He finished the game with two try assists and one line-break assist, as well as almost scoring a runaway try himself.
Williams was also instrumental with the boot, kicking five from six goals in the absence of regular goal kicker, Jarrod Croker.
Townsend had almost identical numbers to Williams, with two try assists and one line-break assist. The big difference between the two is in defence. Williams only missed one tackle last week, while Townsend missed four.
Joe Tapine v Toby Rudolf
With the game getting faster and dominance in the ruck becoming a key to victory, both teams will want their athletic locks to use their speed and power to gain ascendancy in the middle of the field.
Joe Tapine brought his great form from 2020 into 2021. Last week against the Tigers, the Kiwi international ran for 131 meters, broke seven tackles and threw three offloads. His damaging run in the dying minutes of the game to set Jordan Rapana up for a try was one of the highlights of the afternoon.
Toby Rudolf was also impressive in the Sharks win against the Dragons last week. The big lock, while not offloading as frequently as Tapine, is a damaging runner of the ball. Against the Dragons, Rudolf ran for 136 meters off only 11 carries - an average of 12 meters per run.
Bailey Simonsson v Ronaldo Mulitalo
Bailey Simonsson made a successful return to first grade last week after a season-ending shoulder injury last year. With a chance to make the left-wing his own, he didn’t disappoint.
Against the Tigers, Simonsson used his great ariel ability in both attack and defence to help the Raiders win. Simonsson set up a Hudson Young try after catching a kick and passing to Young in midair. In defence, he defused the Tigers’ bombs on his own line with spectacular catches.
Ronaldo Mulitalo was a key focal point of Cronulla’s attack against the Dragons. He ran for just under 100 meters, scored a try and set up one for Will Kennedy with a great inside pass off a scrum play.
Head to Head
The Raiders and Sharks have played 80 times, with the Raiders winning 37 the Sharks winning 41 and two draws.