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Here is all you need to know about the Cronulla Sharks' 2020 Telstra Premiership draw.

The Lowdown

Teams they play twice

Broncos, Bulldogs, Cowboys, Dragons, Knights, Panthers, Raiders, Storm, Warriors

Teams they play once

Eels, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Wests Tigers, Titans

Day-by-day breakdown

Friday - 7, Saturday - 9, Sunday - 8

Turnarounds

5 days – 0, 6 days – 8, 7+ days – 15

Kick-off

It's a big first few weeks: a local derby against the Dragons and clashes with 2020 finalists Canberra and Parramatta. A trip to the Sunshine Coast for a "home" match against North Queensland rounds out Cronulla's opening month.

Five key match-ups

Raiders (Round 2, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium; Round 18, GIO Stadium): Having been knocked out of the finals by Canberra, the Sharks don't have to wait long for a shot at redemption. How they fare in this clash against expected heavyweights could give an insight into what's to come.

Storm (Round 8, AAMI Park; Round 25, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium): There's a strong competitive rivalry between these teams, who met in the 2016 grand final, with seven of their past nine meetings being decided by nine points or fewer. Melbourne won their only clash last season 12-10.

Sharks' top five tries of 2020

Panthers (Round 9, Panthers Stadium; Round 14, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium): Cronulla weren't alone in being upstaged by Penrith in 2020 given they lost just twice all year. But the Sharks copped 56-24 and 38-12 hidings from the minor premiers that should serve as motivation when they next meet.

Dragons (Round 1, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium; Round 11, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium): Shark Park remains under development, so Cronulla are again basing themselves at Netstrata Jubilee Oval in Kogarah – Dragons heartland. The neighbouring clubs won one local derby apiece last season.

Cowboys (Round 4, Sunshine Coast Stadium; Round 15, Queensland Country Bank Stadium): Cronulla beat North Queensland twice in 2020 as they came up against their former star Valentine Holmes. Now, the Sharks have recruited Josh Hannay, who finished the year as the Cowboys' interim coach, as an assistant. Maybe he could provide some inside information.

Toughest stretch

The Shire boys face a difficult period from rounds 8-14 where they'll play premiers Melbourne (away), minor premiers Penrith (away) and preliminary finalists South Sydney (Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium) in succession.

That's followed by a local derby against the Dragons (home), a clash with the vastly improved Titans at Coffs Harbour, a bye and another date with the Panthers (home).

Better. Faster. Stronger.

And another thing ...

If the 2020 ladder is anything to go by then the Sharks are in for a cruisy run home, with five of their last seven matches against teams who fell short of the play-offs. 

 

You can download the full 2021 Premiership draw or your team's schedule directly to your calendar with eCal. Download it now.