Sharks v Warriors: Finucane back, McInnes starts; DWZ, Pene return

Cronulla return home to PointsBet Stadium on Sunday afternoon looking to bounce back after a shock loss to Brisbane in round eight.

Their opponents, the Warriors, did exactly that last start with a field goal in golden point to Shaun Johnson turning around a 60-point loss a week earlier.

Johnson, the former Sharks halfback himself, will be looking to get one over his old club in his return to the Shire. 

The match-up between Johnson and Hynes will be worth the price of admission alone while the Warriors' forward pack aimed up against Canberra's big men and will need to do so again in enemy territory.

The Rundown
Team news

Sharks: Connor Tracey has been promoted from the reserves list to start on the wing as he returns from injury for his first game since round three. Ronaldo Mulitalo (illness) is out. Dale Finucane moves to prop with Aiden Tolman moving back to the bench. Cameron McInnes starts at lock for the first time in his Sharks career. Andrew Fifita comes onto the bench. Club captain Wade Graham will come off the bench for his second appearance after getting through 23 minutes last week. 

Warriors: There are no changes for the visitors. A heart-warming sight for all league fans with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak back after a nasty concussion against the Storm on ANZAC day. DWZ replaces Jesse Arthurs (shoulder) on the wing with Rocco Berry and Viliame Vailea maintaining their spots in the centres. Bayley Sironen moves to 18th man, replaced by Eliesa Katoa in the back row while Aaron Pene returns from a one-match suspension on the bench. 

Key match-up
Siosifa Talakai v Rocco Berry: The battle of the halfbacks aside, there will be another big emphasis on shutting down Sharks centre Siosifa Talakai after he was well-handled by Kotoni Staggs last week. The Warriors' edges were reshuffled last week but as Talakai showed in the first half the last time the Sharks played at PointsBet Stadium, he's a hard man to stop if given time with the ball. The man tasked with the job, Rocco Berry, has 12 games of first grade under his belt and will need help from the men around him to shut Talakai down.


Stat attack
Cronulla have produced a whopping 41 line break assists in their opening eight games, more than double the Warriors (18) to start the year. Those assists have resulted in 33 Sharks tries while the Warriors have converted most of theirs to 22. Nicho Hynes and Siosifa Talakai lead the competition with nine each while Will Kennedy (7) is also in the top three. The Warriors' best is Shaun Johnson with five.


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