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The Roosters Crow: Showdown in the Shire

The NRL's Indigenous Round will see the Sydney Roosters venturing from Gadigal Land to Dharwal Land this Saturday night as they take on a former Club legend and his new outfit.

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

The Roosters will be aiming to continue their recent form against the Sharks, having won their last six consecutive matches dating back to 2017, which includes the Round 5 clash in 2021 which saw the Tricolours claw back from a 12-4 halftime deficit to claim an emphatic 26-18 victory. 

Saturday night will mark the 99th NRL match between the two clubs dating back to 1967, with the Red, White and Blue enjoying a 63% winning record with 62 wins and two draws. 

The Tricolours have also claimed victory in four of the last five Indigenous Round matches, with a big win over the Canberra Raiders in 2021 helping to propel the side to a finals finish - and will be looking to continue their run this Saturday night. 

Easts won't be deterred with the travel to Shark Park either, having won their last three consecutive matches at the venue, with the last being a 30-16 victory in 2019.

Round 5 Match Highlights: Roosters v Sharks

How They Line Up

Head Coach Trent Robinson has made minor changes to the line up this week.

Sitili Tupouniua comes back into the side, and is set to start the game off the bench with Egan Butcher reverting back to the reserves as a result.

The remainder of the side is unchanged, with James Tedesco captaining the team from fullback. Daniel Tupou and Joseph Suaalii will be the wingers, with Paul Momirovski and Joey Manu the centre pairing.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Sharks is number 3 Connor Tracey
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Paul Momirovski
  • Centre for Sharks is number 4 Siosifa Talakai
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
  • Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Joseph Suaalii
  • Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam Walker
  • Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Nicholas Hynes
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary

Forwards

  • Prop for Sharks is number 8 Toby Rudolf
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Drew Hutchison
  • Prop for Sharks is number 10 Royce Hunt
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 16 Teig Wilton
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
  • Lock for Sharks is number 13 Cameron McInnes
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Siosiua Taukeiaho

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Aiden Tolman
    Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Connor Watson
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Braydon Trindall
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher Baker
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Andrew Fifita
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Sitili Tupouniua
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 19 Thomas Hazelton
    Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Terrell May

Reserves

  • Replacement for Sharks is number 18 Lachlan Miller
    Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Lachlan Lam

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

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Sam Walker and Luke Keary line up in the halves, while Drew Hutchison remains in the No.9 jumper. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Lindsay Collins will start up front, alongside Siosiua Taukeiaho at lock.

Angus Crichton and Nat Butcher will start on the edges, while Connor Watson, Fletcher Baker, Tupouniua and Terrell May will start the game on the bench.

Lachlan Lam, Egan Butcher, Ben Marschke, Billy Smith, Kevin Naiqama, Adam Keighran and Daniel Suluka-Fifita round out the reserves list.

Former Rooster Craig Fitzgibbon - now head coach of the Sharks - welcomes back fullback Will Kennedy to the side from suspension, with the rest of the line up intact from their 25-18 victory over the Gold Coast Titans. 

Key Match Up: Joseph Manu vs Siosifa Talakai

Two forces come together as Joseph Manu and Siosifa Talakai do battle - so be sure to expect plenty of fireworks out on the edges. 

Manu has been a staple of the Roosters since his debut in 2016, and the New Zealand representative has continued his strong form to start 2022 as one of the most consistent members of the side.

With six tries, five try assists, eight linebreaks and 47 tackle breaks, Manu has been a threat on the right throughout the first half of the season, and has single-handedly gotten the Roosters over the line on a number of occasions.  

Traditionally built for the second row, injury has forced Siosifa Talakai into the centres but the wrecking ball has taken the opportunity with both hands and has put himself into State of Origin calculations. 

Scoring five tries, creating a further seven while breaking the line on six occasions, Talakai has amassed an impressive 57 tackle breaks, and Manu will certainly have his hands full in this match up.

What They Said

“With Indigenous Round this week, the buy-in from the boys has been awesome. It’s a really good chance to educate everyone about our culture. They were frothing on it so that makes me happy." - Connor Watson

"We'll take our lessons from the weekend. There were a lot of good things for us. That's what the season's for; learning, growing. I have complete faith in our boys and our system." - Lindsay Collins

Final Verdict

After a big effort against the reigning Premiers last Saturday, the Tricolours will be hungry to bounce back with a win and have more than enough motivation to play for Connor Watson in what is one of the most celebrated rounds of the competition.

For those looking to head to Shark Park, be sure to grab your tickets here, gear up for Saturday night football and cheer on the Red, White and Blue!

With less than six home games remaining for the Roosters as we tick over the first half of the season, you can Call Yourself a Rooster with up to 30% off all full-season memberships!

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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