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Virtually nothing could split these two teams when they met at Hunter Stadium in Round 8 earlier this season – until Cronulla halfback Jeff Robson turned hero with his first career field-goal to seal a thrilling 21-20 win for the visitors.

The Sharks dominated just one of the key categories – offloads, 13 to two – as the two teams battled and scrapped for every inch, finishing with similar numbers in total run metres (Cronulla 1582 to the Knights’ 1575), possession (Sharks 52 to 48 per cent) and tackles made (Newcastle 374 to Cronulla’s 368).

Individually, both teams’ star props were powerhouses, with Shark Andrew Fifita (251 running metres and 34 tackles) and Knight Kade Snowden (216 running metres and 32 tackles) heavily involved.