Toyota Park, Sunday 2pmReferees:
Steve Lyons, Alan ShortallHead to head:
Tigers 11, Sharks 5, draw 1Last clash:
Sharks 32-6 at Leichhardt Oval (rd 25, 2008)TAB Sportsbet:
Tigers $1.22, Sharks $4FootyTAB:
Sharks +9.5 points
Five wins in a row have taken the Tigers into the top eight, so now a new battle begins for them - the one to stay there. The key indicators are mostly good. They are playing a team that is running low on gas four rounds out from the end of the end of the regular season - the Sharks have lost six games in a row and have scored at an average just 6.66 points per game in their last three. That is the number of a pretty ordinary beast. Plus, the Tigers have a tremendous recent record against the Sharks, losing only one of the last 10 clashes between the two. It's a Sharks home game, but the Tigers have proved their ability to win at Toyota Stadium in recent years. The Tigers have a win-loss record of only 4-7 on the road this season, but in keeping with their recent revival they have won their last three away games. The Sharks are 3-7 at home.
The sizeable negative for the Tigers going into this game is that they have lost in-form fullback Shannon Gallant to injury. He won't play again this season unless the Tigers make it a couple of weeks into the finals. Coach Tim Sheens came up with a shock when he named the club's Toyota Cup five-eighth, Robert Lui, at halfback for this game, moving Tim Moltzen from halfback to fullback. Moltzen was playing fullback before taking over at halfback midway through the season, and the Tigers have had a settled lineup in the key positions of fullback, five-eighth, halfback and hooker during their winning run. Sheens wouldn't like having to move Moltzen. Five-eighth Benji Marshall will obviously be expected to take plenty of the heat off young Lui in the playmaking department.
Bookmakers have put the Tigers up as short-priced favourites, and if they remain focus they should be able to justify that. The Sharks, again with so many key players missing, don't look to have many points in them..SHARKS:
Nathan Stapleton, Misi Taulapapa, Ben Pomeroy, Mitch Brown, Luke Covell (capt), Matt Wright, Scott Porter, Kade Snowden, Corey Hughes, Luke Douglas, Jak Afamasaga, Grant Millington, Paul Gallen. Interchange:
Ian Donnelly, Bryan Norrie, Lancen Joud, TBA.TIGERS:
Tim Moltzen, Taniela Tuiaki, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, Beau Ryan, Benji Marshall, Robert Lui, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah (capt), Keith Galloway, Gareth Ellis, Todd Payten, Chris Heighington. Interchange:
John Morris, Danny Galea, Corey Payne, John Skandalis, Dean Collis (one to be omitted).http://www.leaguehq.com.au/news/lhqmatchpreview/cronulla-v-wests-tigers/2009/08/13/1249756393204.html