The equation for Cronulla is simple, win and they're into the finals, but providing the correct answer requires getting the better of competition leaders Melbourne.
And the task only got harder with the Storm stinging from a shock last-start loss to Parramatta which cost them a record-breaking 20th consecutive victory.
Josh Hannay's team will certainly need to be far more clinical than they were beating Brisbane 24-16 in the first leg of the Suncorp Stadium double-header.
But circumstance may give Cronulla a leg-up with Storm coach Craig Bellamy indicating he will rest players to prepare for the finals and a number of others having put themselves in the match review committee's cross-hairs.
Match: Sharks v Storm
Round 25 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Sharks: The final team is 1-17 with Matt Moylan's return to the starting side pushing Luke Metcalf to the interchange and Kai O'Donnell 18th man.
The Sharks can confirm their place in a seventh consecutive finals series with a victory.
Storm: Two further game day changes were announced with Trent Loiero into the squad as a starting back-rower, pushing Aaron Pene to the bench and Jordan Grant to 18th man, while Daniel Atkinson displaced Cooper Johns on the interchange.
George Jennings (knee) was named on Tuesday but was ruled out through the week with Isaac Lumelume to start on the wing.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (hamstring) had a false start in his return to the paddock last week but is right to go.
Dale Finucane (head knock) returns to the pack which sees Harry Grant revert to the bench and Brandon Smith shift from lock to starting hooker.
The Storm have won four of their past five games against the Sharks.
Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William KennedyFullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione KatoaWinger for Storm is number 5 Dean Ieremia
Centre for Sharks is number 3 Connor TraceyCentre for Storm is number 3 Marion Seve
Centre for Sharks is number 4 Jesse RamienCentre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
Winger for Sharks is number 5 Mawene HirotiWinger for Storm is number 21 Isaac Lumelume
Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt MoylanFive-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Nicho Hynes
Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Braydon TrindallHalfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
Prop for Sharks is number 8 Toby RudolfProp for Storm is number 8 Tui Kamikamica
Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke BraileyHooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron WoodsProp for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Chris Lewis
2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Teig Wilton2nd Row for Storm is number 20 Trent Loiero
Lock for Sharks is number 13 Jack WilliamsLock for Storm is number 13 Dale Finucane
Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Luke MetcalfInterchange for Storm is number 11 Aaron Pene
Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Braden Hamlin-UeleInterchange for Storm is number 14 Harry Grant
Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Aiden TolmanInterchange for Storm is number 15 Tepai Moeroa
Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Siosifa TalakaiInterchange for Storm is number 19 Daniel Atkinson
Reserve for Sharks is number 18 Kai O'DonnellReserve for Storm is number 16 Jordan Grant
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Chris Butler
- Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen
Jesse Ramien v Justin Olam: Despite being one of Cronulla's better players this season Ramien finished with a paltry one per cent of votes in the best centre category in the 2021 Fans Poll while his Storm rival was ranked the NRL's best with 34 per cent of the vote. The stats show he does have some ground to makae up with Olam holding the advantage in every category except tackle busts and average run metres. He has scored 11 tries to Ramien's five, delivered nine try assists to one and 11 line breaks to six.
The Sharks have a surprising good record against Melbourne, splitting the past 10 games between the two sides 5-5. But the gloss is taken off somewhat by a lack of recent success with Cronulla looking to break a three-game losing streak against the Storm.
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