You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Both of these teams were first-round losers, but while the Sharks weren't far off in their clash with Newcastle, the Titans couldn't manage a single point in their rain-soaked home game against Canberra.

Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan already has injury concerns at key positions and could find himself under pressure from management if early losses pile up. Ash Taylor's timeline for a return from a thigh injury is uncertain while Tyrone Roberts is out for a few weeks with an Achilles problem

Winning at Shark Park on a Saturday afternoon is a tough ask.

Conversely, Cronulla coach John Morris is under minimal pressure after taking over from Shane Flanagan in the pre-season.

He needs to get more out of his team's offence but the Sharks will be hungry for a win after last week's narrow loss.

The Rundown

Team news

Sharks: John Morris named an unchanged side following last week's loss and has stuck with that 17. Paul Gallen will equal the Sharks' all-time appearance record held by Andrew Ettingshausen with 328 games. Scott Sorensen and Kyle Flanagan were cut an hour out from kick-off, while Bronson Xerri and Braden Hamlin-Uele were omitted on Friday.

Titans: No late changes for the Titans. Ryley Jacks joins AJ Brimson in the halves with Anthony Don starting on the wing and Phillip Sami shifting to the bench. Mitch Rein and Jai Whitbread were omitted an hour before kick-off, while Leilani Latu and Jesse Arthurs were cut from the 21-man squad on Friday.

Key match-up

Ryan James has to shoulder a lot of responsibility every week for the Titans, and he'll have to be extra assertive against Sharks enforcer Andrew Fifita. But with James playing in the back-row, Fifita also has to worry about his battle up front with Titans brute Shannon Boyd.

For the Sharks to win

The Sharks are one of those teams that don't often beat themselves, mainly due to their commitment to defence. It's in the point-scoring department where the Sharkies have to become more proficient and that falls largely on the shoulders of Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan.

For the Titans to win

Losing their halves against the Raiders clearly left the Titans wanting in terms of offensive creativity. Brennan has to come up with a quick-fix with his playmakers and hope it's enough to rattle the defensive-minded Sharks.

Brett Kimmorley says ...

If Cronulla make less mistakes than last week and build a bit more pressure, that’ll bring Shaun Johnson into the match a bit more. He gets the chance to play at home for the first time. I’m looking forward to seeing how Johnson and Josh Dugan bounce back this week. As for the Titans, the key is probably who they have to play in the halves. Already, unfortunately for the Titans, they probably won’t know who will be playing in those positions until later in the week. They key for them is to play basic football. Sharks by 8

Sharks Stat Attack

Coach John Morris will be banking on an improved attacking performance after his team completed just 60% (21/35) of their sets in the round one loss to Newcastle.

Titans Stat Attack

No wonder the Titans were scoreless in the loss to Canberra. They had only 45% of possession and completed 64%. They also had more errors (14) than the Raiders and conceded more penalties (11).


Played 18, Cronulla 9, Gold Coast 8, drawn 1

At Shark Park

Played 10, Cronulla 6, Gold Coast 4

And another thing ...

Sharks centres Josh Dugan and Josh Morris have more in common than their names. Both played for the Dragons but not at the same time, and neither of them was part of the 2010 premiership-winning team. Dugan, 28, has played for NSW and Australia 12 times each, while Morris, 32, represented NSW on 14 occasions and played six games for Australia.