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First-up winners to start 2021, Cronulla and Canberra each enter the second round of the season full of confidence.

After beating the Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Sunday night, the Sharks will return to the same venue - this time as the home team - riding high after their 32-18 triumph.

They nearly surrendered their lead midway through the second half but with fullback Will Kennedy and halfback Chad Townsend playing starring roles, they ran away from the Dragons on a rainy old night.

Canberra also got off to a slow start against the Wests Tigers before kicking away in the second half to celebrate prop Ryan James's return to the Telstra Premiership after back-to-back seasons were ruined by ACL tears.

Sharks v Raiders

The rundown

Team news

Sharks: Centre Jesse Ramien took the early guilty plea for a reckless high tackle on Dragon Matt Dufty and will miss three games. With Cronulla's centre depth already tested by the injury to back-up Jackson Ferris (broken foot) coach John Morris has gone with Mawene Hiroti as Ramien's replacement.

Forwards Royce Hunt (knee) and Siosifa Talakai (shoulder) must wait at least another week to return from injury.

Nene Macdonald and Teig Wilton were trimmed from the game-day squad an hour before kick-off after Andrew Fifita and Braydon Trindall were omitted on Saturday.

Captain Wade Graham will achieve the milestone of 250 NRL games.

Raiders: Coach Ricky Stuart has stuck with the same 17 after the staff elected against bringing back co-captain Jarrod Croker, giving rookie Sebastian Kris at least another week in the line-up.

Croker's shoulder is fine after off-season surgery, but Stuart is focused on the centre getting more conditioning under his belt. Rising star rake Tom Starling remains stuck behind Josh Hodgson and Siliva Havili in the reserves.

Sam Williams and Harley Smith-Shields were omitted from the reserves on game day after Tom Starling and Emre Guler dropped out of the squad 24 hours before kickoff.

The Raiders have won their past four games against the Sharks.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
  • Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey Simonsson
  • Centre for Sharks is number 3 Josh Dugan
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Sebastian Kris
  • Centre for Sharks is number 4 Mawene Hiroti
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Curtis Scott
  • Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
  • Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
  • Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad Townsend
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 George Williams


  • Prop for Sharks is number 8 Braden Hamlin-Uele
    Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papali'i
  • Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh Hodgson
  • Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron Woods
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Dunamis Lui
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
  • Lock for Sharks is number 13 Toby Rudolf
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph Tapine


  • Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Connor Tracey
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Siliva Havili
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Aiden Tolman
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Ryan Sutton
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack Williams
    Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Iosia Soliola
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Billy Magoulias
    Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Ryan James

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Matt Noyen
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

Key match-up

Blayke Brailey v Josh Hodgson: Both hookers have a profound, if understated influence on their team's fortunes. 

Brailey got through a mountain of work in defence and kept the Sharks on the front foot in attack as they beat St George Illawarra in round one while Hodgson made a successful return to the NRL after a serious knee injury last season in Sunday's triumph over the Tigers.

Stat attack

You can expect a few tackle breaks in this match if last year's statistics are anything to go by. In 2020 the Raiders ranked third (31.3) and Sharks ranked fourth (30.8) in the league in tackle breaks made.

While both teams conceded their fair share of breaks at the defensive end, the Raiders have an advantage on that front with Cronulla's 35.4 missed tackles per game the worst record in the NRL last year.


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