Match Preview: Round 19 v Sharks

The Sydney Roosters will kick off the final third of the NRL Rounds with a top eight clash against a Todd Carney-led Sharks side this Saturday night, with both sides coming into the match on the back of a solid block of form.


The Roosters last lost a game over a month ago and will be out to continue what has been an impressive showing at home this season, with just three losses from nine starts at Allianz Stadium.


History is also on the side of those wearing Red, White and Blue with the Tricolours having won 12 of the 19 matches played between the two Sydney sides at the historical Moore Park venue, with the Sharks last winning on the ground back in 2010.


Former Rooster Carney will lead his side in the absence of first, second and third choice skippers Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Luke Lewis and will undoubtedly be out to show not only his former Club but also NSW selectors his worth when he meets the man who replaced him in both sides James Maloney out in the middle.


Maloney will join Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner and Michael Jennings in playing their second match in 48 hours after the quartet represented NSW in Wednesdays State of Origin series decider at ANZ Stadium, alongside the lone-Shark to be backing up on Saturday Andrew Fifita.


Fifita was one of the standouts in the Blues loss mid-week but will come up against as big a test as QLDs Matt Scott and Nate Myles when he meets one of the NRLs premier props Jared Waerea-Hargreaves out in the middle.


Hargreaves has found his feet once again after sitting out for six weeks mid-season with suspension, but the big man has now been back in the thick of the action for a fortnight and certainly shown no signs of slowing down from the flying start he had to 2013.


Fellow Rooster Bro Sonny Bill Williams will miss the clash with the Sharks after failing a fitness test mid-week on an injured hamstring from his sides win over the Dragons in Round 17.


Williams is not expected to miss any more matches through injury, after coach Trent Robinson declared it was not worth the risk of losing the backrower for any more matches by rushing his return this weekend.


Williams replacement is yet to be confirmed.


Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is the only player named not to have played against the Dragons in the Roosters last start, with the young-gun missing the match after sustaining concussion in their Round 16 win over the Sea Eagles.


The last time the two sides met it ended in a 14-all draw at Shark Park, in what was their only meeting in the 2012 season.