Sea Eagles v Sharks: Garrick ruled out; Dykes missing, Moylan returns

With their finals dreams shattered at the Gold Coast on Sunday, the Sea Eagles must find a way to regroup before confronting the high-flying Sharks at 4 Pines Park.

Seemingly in good shape after a Round 18 win over Newcastle, the Sea Eagles have slumped to four losses in a row for the first time since the opening month of the 2021 season to now sit four points outside the eight.

They face a confident and composed Sharks outfit who have a top-fourth berth well and truly in the grasp with games against Manly, Bulldogs and Knights to come.

Craig Fitzgibbon's men are playing a brand of footy well suited to high-pressure play-off games and they have every reason to believe a second premiership in seven years is a real possibility.

The Rundown
Team news

Sea Eagles: Another change on Friday with Andrew Davey ruled out so Ethan Bullemor joins the starting side and Kurt de Luis is added to the bench. That comes on the back of Reuben Garrick being ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury. His withdrawal will see Tolu Koula (who was originally named on the wing to replace Jason Saab) move to fullback and Alfred Smalley called into the side on the wing for his second NRL game. Jake Trbojevic (hand) is replaced at lock by Dylan Walker.

Sharks: Rookie fullback Kade Dykes was taken out at the 24-hour update on Friday due to a calf injury, with Lachlan Miller shifting to fullback and Matt Ikuvalu joining the side on the wing. Interchange forward Teig Wilton is also out, replaced on the bench by Braydon Trindall. Connor Tracey (head knock) and Matt Moylan (quad) are both set to return from injury. With Toby Rudolf facing a month on the sideline with a torn medial, Braden Hamlin-Uele comes into the starting side with Andrew Fifita joining the bench. Centre Siosifa Talakai remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Key match-up
Daly Cherry-Evans v Nicho Hynes: The Manly skipper continues to play at a high standard and will be hurting as he comes to grip with the fact his team won't be part of the finals. With 16 try assists, 10 line break assists and 21 forced dropouts, DCE has been up with the best halfbacks in the competition in 2022 and he'll be keen to finish the season on a high. Hynes' influence at the Sharks has been enormous with 12 try assists, 19 line break assists and 20 forced dropouts. Time and again he has come up big in the clutch, icing games with a pressure goal or field goal, or putting his team in position to snatch victory when all seemed lost.

Stat Attack
Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans sits equal third in the NRL for try assists with 16 in 19 games. He also has 10 line break assists. The Sharks' try assist leader is Nicho Hynes with 12 in 20 games to go with has 19 line break assists.


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