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2022 NRL Round 1: Raiders vs Sharks Preview & Betting Tips

March 10th 2022, 11:55am, By: Ben Bridge

NRL Raiders vs Sharks Betting Tips

Friday Night Football in 2022 kicks off with two teams looking to make a finals push this season, after both missed out on 'for and against' in 2021. The Cronulla Sharks will travel south to the nation’s napital, where they will take on the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium. Check out our preview of the clash below, as well as the best bets for this clash.

Stay tuned throughout the 2022 NRL season to get the best betting value when taking on the bookies, with our NRL Tips page previewing all the NRL matches in 2022.

Raiders vs Sharks Betting Tips

GIO Stadium, Friday 11th March, 6:00pm (AEDT)

Canberra Raiders

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. James Schiller 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Semi Valemei 6. Jack Wighton 7. Brad Schneider 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Elliott Whitehead. INTERCHANGE: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Adam Elliott 17. Corey Horsborough. RESERVES: 18. Ryan Sutton 19. Matt Frawley 20. Trey Mooney 21. Harry Rushton 22. Jarrod Croker 23. Xavier Savage 24. Sam Williams

Cronulla Sharks

1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Ronaldo Mulitalo 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane. INTERCHANGE: 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Siosifa Talakai 16. Royce Hunt 17. Andrew Fifita. RESERVES: 18. Luke Metcalf 19. Jesse Colquhoun 20. Lachlan Miller 21. Jenson Taumoepeau 22. Jayden Berrell 23. Jonaiah Lualua 24. Thomas Hazelton

Match Preview

The Cronulla Sharks have been one of the most hyped teams this off-season, with some shrewd recruitment taking place on and off the pitch. Two stars from the uber-talented Melbourne Storm outfit headline the recruitment drive, with breakout star Nicho Hynes and consummate professional Dale Finucane heading to the Shire. The Sharks also managed to bring over ex-Dragon Cam McInnes, who will miss the start of the season after a minor clean out of his knee.

The biggest recruit, however, could be the recruitment of new Head Coach Craig Fitzgibbon. Having spent several years studying under Roosters coach Trent Robinson, Fitzgibbon had taken over as the Roosters defensive coach in recent seasons, where his aura as a potential Head Coach grew. It will be very interesting to see just how much of an influence he can have on this team in his first year as a head coach.

The Raiders off-season was not as high profile as the Sharks’; however, they did make a fine signing that went somewhat unnoticed in the Pro-Sydney NRL media. Jamal Fogarty, having been told he could look elsewhere by the Titans despite only recently re-signing, took up a 3-year deal at the Raiders. With this signing and the return of Nick Cotric from the Bulldogs, plus injured fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, I was bullish on the Raiders pushing towards a Top 4 birth this season.

Unfortunately, Fogarty injured his knee during the Raiders trial game with the Sea Eagles and will require surgery. The time frame for his return indicates he won’t be back until Round 15, in a horrible blow to the Raiders Top 8 aspirations.

Being the first game of the year for both sides, it’s difficult to handicap how the game will play out. With the rule changes it is anticipated that the game will be slowed down, with less points being scored and more emphasis on taking your chances inside the opposition 20. With both teams lining up with a new halves pairing, this lack of cohesion could cause the score to stay even lower.

This should be a real grind, with several factors at play in this one. The Sharks have named 3 props on the bench, indicating they plan for a tough battle with a Raiders forward pack. Despite not having new Head Coach Craig Fitzgibbon available (COVID), I trust he has his side ready for a defence orientated, protect the ball at all cost mindset. Prior to the loss of Fogarty, I was leaning towards the Raiders in this one, but now I see the Sharks having a little too much for the Raiders.

In what should be a tough, tight contest from start to finish, I’ll take Sharks to sneak home.

Prop Bets:
Under 44.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Nicho Hynes Anytime Try ($4.50 at TopSport)

Sharks -1

$2.00

 

 

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