This game will be a lot closer than most people think.
With both sides missing some big names due to State Of Origin commitments it has been left to the reserves to step up and fill the sizable voids left in the respective squads.
Cronulla conceded a late try last week to go down to Melbourne at Shark Park which was their first defeat since Round 8 while the Tigers continued their wretched run of form, thrashed by the Roosters 40-18.
Coach Shane Flanagan has had to call up several reserves to plug some serious holes in his starting line-up.
The defending premiers will be without James Maloney, Andrew Fifita, Jack Bird, Valentine Holmes and Wade Graham – all integral players that have been instrumental in seeing the Sharks sit third on the ladder.
While those players were a big part of why the Sharks won their maiden premiership last season, another big factor was their home record which saw them lose just once during the 2016 season. This campaign, however, they are a lowly 3-4 at Southern Cross Group Stadium with the four defeats there being the only ones against them so far this season.
BAD TO WORSE
WESTS TIGERS continue to struggle in 2017.
Ivan Cleary’s side has just three wins for the season and go into this off the back of five straight defeats. Their 22-point hiding by the Sydney Roosters was their sixth defeat of the season by a margin of 20 points or more.
Defence has been a key area where the Tigers have fallen over in 2017, leaking an average of 26.6 points per game to see them ranked equal second-last in the competition along with the Titans – only the Knights have conceded more.
Historically it’s all been the Tigers who have been the dominant partner her with 17 wins from 29 matches.
Unfortunately for the Black and Gold faithful that hasn’t been the case in recent times as CRONULLA has won five of the past seven fixtures. Among those wins was a narrow, and controversial, win back in Round 9 at Leichhardt Oval.
Despite the Sharkies struggling to win at home, they’ve beaten the Tigers in three straight at the venue and if they rack up a fourth consecutive win at Shark Park it will be the first time in 14 years that they’ve done so.
Despite missing a host of players we are banking on the Sharks ($1.27 @ Unibet).
The Tigers are missing Aaron Woods and James Tedesco and we will argue that the pair are a bigger loss to them than the five players missing for the Sharks.
Wests Tigers are in all sorts and don’t like likely to cause the upset here. The Sharks are short enough though and we don’t want to be taking anything less than the price that is currently on offer.
We don’t think it will be a blowout though so if you are playing margins, we recommend a 1-12 option.
SOSAIA FEKI 1ST TRYSCORER