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The Sharks were headed for a sixth straight loss last Thursday against the Cowboys before waking up in the second half and stealing the visitors' thunder with a 16-14 win.

But while it was a classic never-say-die performance, it remains to be seen if it lights a fire under the Sharks as the battle for the final one or two top-eight spots intensifies.

They will need to raise the bar on Saturday night if they are serious about playing in the post-season.

The Rabbitohs pulled off an incredible last-second win over the Dragons and know they need to keep winning to clinch second spot.

Match: Sharks v Rabbitohs

Round 20 -

Full Time
Sharks

Home Team

Sharks

Scored 39 points
Rabbitohs

Away Team

Rabbitohs

Scored 24 points

Venue: PointsBet Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

The Rundown

Team news

Sharks: Winger Sosaia Feki is out, replaced by Ronaldo Mulitalo, who will line up for just the fourth game of his career. Matt Moylan and Wade Graham retained their spots after getting through training. The Sharks named four forwards on the bench, including Andrew Fifita on his return from suspension. Cronulla have won their past four night games at PointsBet Stadium. Kyle Flanagan and Feki dropped out of the extended squad on Friday and Billy Magoulias and Blayke Brailey were the last two men omitted an hour before game time.

Rabbitohs: The Bunnies are 1-17 with Connor Tracey and Jaydn Su'A the last two men omitted an hour before kick-off. Corey Allen and Dean Britt were cut on Friday. Sam Burgess had his antibiotic line removed on Tuesday and is good to go after missing five matches. Dane Gagai has scored four tries in his past three games.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sharks is number 1 Matt Moylan
    Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Adam Doueihi
  • Winger for Sharks is number 20 Ronaldo Mulitalo
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Dane Gagai
  • Centre for Sharks is number 3 Bronson Xerri
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 James Roberts
  • Centre for Sharks is number 4 Josh Dugan
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Braidon Burns
  • Winger for Sharks is number 5 Josh Morris
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Campbell Graham
  • Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Shaun Johnson
    Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
  • Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad Townsend
    Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds

Forwards

  • Prop for Sharks is number 8 Aaron Woods
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita Tatola
  • Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Jayden Brailey
    Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Sharks is number 10 Matt Prior
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas Burgess
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 John Sutton
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Sam Burgess
  • Lock for Sharks is number 13 Paul Gallen
    Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Kurt Capewell
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Liam Knight
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Jack Williams
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Mark Nicholls
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Andrew Fifita
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Ethan Lowe
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Braden Hamlin-Uele
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Kyle Turner

Key match-up

Young calf Cameron Murray is pitted against old bull Paul Gallen. South Sydney's Murray has been in stellar form all year, while Cronulla captain Gallen wound back the clock in a virtuoso performance last round. These two can set the platform for their teams in the opening exchanges.

For the Sharks to win

They have to come out with an aggressive mindset in attack. Coach John Morris needs to add a couple of wrinkles to the game plan to keep the Rabbitohs guessing in defence. If they can tame the Bunnies up front the Sharks have enough strike power to score an upset. They need to get straight on the front foot and get a good start.

For the Rabbitohs to win

Last week's freakish win against the Dragons would never have come down to the final seconds if Adam Reynolds hadn't missed three shots at goal. Reynolds will be working on his goal-kicking at training, while the Bunnies need to show a little more urgency coming up with loose balls after Cameron McInnes taught them a valuable lesson in desperation last week.

Brett Kimmorley says

This is going to be a cracking game. Andrew Fifita will be back, Sam Burgess looks like being back. We are going to get some big humans returning. Both sides are now starting to push themselves into positions where they will want to be for the finals. I don’t think Wayne Bennett will be overly happy with the form of the Rabbitohs last weekend. Cronulla had a scrappy win last weekend but sometime that’s all you need to get some confidence. Sharks by 2

Stat Attack

Damien Cook is renowned for his darts from dummy-half but perhaps overlooked is just how good the Rabbitohs rake is at providing for his teammates. He sits third in the competition for try assists (16) and second for line break assists (13).

And another thing ... 

The Sharks and Rabbitohs squared off just once last year, with the Bunnies prevailing 22-14 at ANZ Stadium. But it was never really that close. Souths led 10-2 at half-time and pushed it out to 22-2 before Jesse Ramien (74th minute) and Sione Katoa (75th) scored late tries to make the score more respectable. Tom Burgess scored two of the Rabbitohs' three tries.