7.00pm (AEST), Monday, April 20
Remondis Stadium, Sydney
Riding high after a pair of upset victories, Cronulla is eyeing off another big scalp – a South Sydney side striving to stay afloat in the face of a growing casualty ward.
Sam Tagatese replaces the suspended Andrew Fifita at prop, while Jayson Bukuya and Tinirau Arona are on an extended Sharks bench with David Fifita out injured. Ben Barba remains in the No.14 jumper. Glenn Stewart has again been named at five-eighth for the Rabbitohs, with Cameron McInnes 18th man.
Cronulla boasts a 42-37-3 record against South Sydney, including an imposing 28-14-1 count at home. The Rabbitohs have won seven of the last 10, however, including an 18-0 shutout at Remondis Stadium in the clubs’ only clash last season, in Round 11.
The Sharks backed up their 20-12 Easter boilover against the Roosters with a commanding 22-6 defeat of the high-flying Knights. The Rabbitohs, counting the cost of their explosive Good Friday win over the Bulldogs, were overrun 30-12 by the Cowboys at home after leading 12-4 at the break. The fourth-placed Bunnies have second-best attack and ninth-ranked defence in the NRL, while the 12th-placed Sharks are 12th in attack and eighth in defence.
Versatile rookie Jack Bird has come up trumps for Cronulla two weeks in a row at five-eighth, scoring three tries and causing headaches for opposition defences with his robust running and ball-playing class. Glenn Stewart was thrust into the pivot role for Souths on Monday but was not as effectiveness as he has been in the backrow; he gets the chance to atone this weekend.
Stats That Matter
The Sharks are 12-16 overall and against the start at home over the last three seasons, including 4-10 as home outsiders (6-8 ATS). The Sharks’ Monday night record since the start of 2013 is just 2-6 (4-4 against the start), but 2-2 overall and ATS at home. Souths’ away record from 2013-15 is 19-9 (15-13 against the start), while they are 18-7 as favourites (13-12 ATS). On Mondays, the Rabbitohs have gone 4-3 (3-4 ATS), including 3-2 overall and against the line away.
Cronulla’s effort to turn their season around after four straight losses is admirable, but the Fifita brothers are a big loss – despite the club’s excellent forward depth. Expect the premiers to exhibit a steely resolve this Monday, while they have had an extra week of training to adapt without linchpin Adam Reynolds and the Stewart-Keary combination should run far smoother than it did against the Cowboys. Greg Inglis will be fired up for a big game after being outshone by Johnathan Thurston in last Monday’s battle of the superstars. The plucky Sharks are set to bear the brunt of a Rabbitohs backlash.
How It’s Shaping Up
South Sydney by 10
South Sydney to win ($1.65)
Other Recommended Bets
Over 38pts ($1.90)
South Sydney/South Sydney ($2.25)
2015 NRL Round 7 Betting Preview for Cronulla Sharks v South Sydney Rabbitohs thanks to William Hill Australia.
Cronulla Sharks v South Sydney Rabbitohs Comparison Betting Odds
Below we have 2015 NRL Round 7 comparison betting odds from leading Australian and International online sportsbooks for the game.