Cronulla can end the Raiders season right here when the teams meet at Shark Park.
The defending premiers go into this off the back of registering back-to-back wins with New Zealand their latest victims. After putting the pen through their season, can Cronulla do the same to Canberra?
Ricky Stuart’s side will be aiming for consecutive wins for just the third time this season after they recorded a strong 32-18 win over Souths at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. Canberra go into Round 22 sitting two wins outside eighth spot.
DOWN THE STRETCH
Cronulla’s back-to-back wins may not be anything to write home about but we are reading a little more into it.
The defending premiers hadn’t notched consecutive victories since Round 12 which was the last of their four straight wins with a sequence of wins and losses spanning eight games.
They are still without James Maloney who is out with a broken hand with Fa’amanu Brown named to take his place again at five-eighth.
Are the champs now ready to finish the regular season on a high?
CANBERRA produced one of their best games of the season last week just when they needed to.
A defeat would have spelled curtains for their finals chances and although they are still walking a finals tightrope, the Green Machine are still a chance so long as they keep on winning.
The 32 points they racked up was their second highest score of the season with the 46 against the Tigers way back in Round 3 only bettering it.
Last year’s Preliminary Finalists now need to build on that performance which was just their third win on the road. Asking them to go back-to-back in away games is a tough ask but you can take $2.70 @ Luxbet about it happening.
Well if recent history is anything to go by then Canberra are specials here.
In a strange twist it has been the away team that has dominated this fixture in recent years with the past eight games taken out by the visitors. With the match being at Shark Park (Southern Cross Group Stadium) it definitely won’t concern Canberra.
Overall it’s Cronulla that has won four of the past five games with those being down at GIO Stadium.
When these teams met earlier this season it was Cronulla posting a huge 42-16 win over their rivals – their biggest ever win at GIO Stadium.
Cronulla look terribly hard to beat.
We get the feeling that Shane Flanagan’s side is now over the Origin period and ready to make a big charge towards the finals. A spot in the top two is still a possibility for them as well so they have plenty of play for.
Even though their home record is a big concerning (5-5) you have to remember that four of those wins have come in the past six matches.
With the second best defence in the competition which concedes just 15.5 points per game, we doubt the Raiders will be able to garner enough points to put the Sharkies away.
There is plenty of value to be found in a number of different markets including the tryscorers. Raiders flyer Nic Cotric has scored in six consecutive games with only two other Canberra players (Peter Jackson, Noa Nadruku) bettering that achievement in the past. Sportsbet have him at $2.25 to cross the line at anytime this Saturday night.
NIC COTRIC ANYTIME TRYSCORER