National Rugby League NRL 2016 Live Cronulla Sharks vs Brisbane Broncos Stream NRL match will be kick off at Cronulla Sharks Stadium, Woolooware, New South Wales, Australia, Sunday 01 May 2016 online, 16.00 pm (AEDT) and its broadcast on Channel Nine, Fox Sports, FOX Sports 2 & FOX Soccer Plus,Premier Sports.
Without question the match of the round, the in-form Cronulla Sharks tackle the premiership front runners Brisbane in front of a likely sold-out crowd. The Sharks have jumped most hurdles they have encountered this year while the Broncos have hardly put a foot wrong.
Cronulla are unchanged from the team that downed Penrith last Sunday. Brisbane welcome back Alex Glenn with Herman Ese’ese dropping out. Travis Waddell comes in for the injured Andrew McCullough.
Cronulla and Brisbane have played 50 times with the Broncos winning 31 and the Sharks 19. Cronulla have won 3 of the last 4 but all those wins came during the Origin period. Since 2005 the Broncos have a 12-7 advantage. The Broncos are riding a three-game streak at Shark Park with all wins coming by greater than 8 points. Corey Oates has two tries in three games against the Sharks. Cronulla spine players Ben Barba and Michael Ennis are former Broncos.
Cronulla are up to fourth on the ladder with a 6-2 record with the fourth ranked attack and fifth rated defence. The Sharks have won five straight (favourites in each) but just a single win was by more than 8 points. They have posted 20-plus in each of their last four outing while they are 4-0 at home this year with the third-ranked home defence. Brisbane are the standard-bearers this season, 7-1 and leading the premiership. The Broncos have the clear best defence to go with the second-best attack. Brisbane’s defence has conceded just one try in their last three games while they have scored 20-plus in their last seven games. The Broncos come into this off a 30-8 thumping of Souths.
Chad Townsend v Ben Hunt. Townsend has had a sensational year in his return to Cronulla, recording six assists and three tries in eight matches. He has caused havoc taking the line on and is Cronulla’s best hope of breaking down the Brisbane defence. Hunt is coming off his best game of the year but has been playing at an exceptional level across 2016 with 11 assists already. No half threatens more with the run than Hunt and the middle Sharks defence will need to be on.
Cronulla are 5-3 ATS with a 5-3 under record. Brisbane are also 5-3 ATS with a 5-3 under number. Home underdogs this year are 17-12 ATS though just 9-9 ATS when that dog is getting 3.5 points or less. Small home underdogs in the first 10 rounds of a season cover at just 49% but the under is 72-49 since 2008 (27-17 when that team comes off a win). The Sharks have covered their last three as a home underdog while the Broncos have covered just 2 of their last 7 road games as a favourite. Road favourites off a 13+ win cover at just 46% since 2013. The under is 79-55 when the home team scored 20 or more in Rounds 1-10 since 2013. The under is 42-22 when a team on a five-game streak scored 20 the week prior – both Cronulla and Brisbane fit that angle.
A low-scoring clash seems in order between two of the premier defensive outfits in the NRL. Both teams have skewed under this year, particularly when the Sharks have been at home (3-1 under, average total 33.75) and Brisbane have been on the road (2-1 under, average total 35.33). The under has been typical in matches with small home underdogs so it stands out as the best bet. A slight lean Brisbane but no real angles to support.
Cronulla Sharks: 1 Ben Barba 2 Sosaia Feki 3 Jack Bird 4 Ricky Leutele 5 Valentine Holmes 6 James Maloney 7 Chad Townsend 8 Andrew Fifita 9 Michael Ennis 10 Sam Tagataese 11 Jayson Bukuya 12 Wade Graham 13 Paul Gallen.
Interchange: 14 Gerard Beale 15 Chris Heighington 16 Matt Prior 17 Luke Lewis
Brisbane Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd 2 Corey Oates 3 Jack Reed 4 James Roberts 5 Jordan Kahu 6 Anthony Milford 7 Ben Hunt 8 Josh McGuire 9 Kodi Nikorima 10 Adam Blair 11 Alex Glenn 12 Matt Gillett 13 Corey Parker (c)
Interchange: 14 Jarrod Wallace 15 Sam Thaiday 16 Joe Ofahengaue 17 Travis Waddell
Ins: Travis Waddell
Outs: Andrew McCullough (Hamstring, Round 15)