Canterbury Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks Predictions: Superstar Hynes has a point to prove

 | Thursday 27th June 2024, 9:40am

Thursday 27th June 2024, 9:40am

Nicho Hynes Cronulla Sharks 2023

It can be a bit of a fool’s errand to predict what might happen in an NRL Premiership fixture during State of Origin season, but the Cronulla Sharks’ trip to the Accor Stadium to face the Canterbury Bulldogs on Friday (kick-off 11:00 BST, 20:00 local, live on Sky Sports Arena) gives us as good a chance as any.

The Dogs were disappointing in defeat to the Sydney Roosters last time out and now face the third-placed Sharks. Here are my Canterbury Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks predictions…

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks Tips

  • Sharks to score first two tries @ 2/1 (Price Boost from 7/4)
  • Sharks by 1-12 points @ 2/1

Canterbury Bulldogs vs Cronulla Sharks Odds

The Bulldogs might be the home team and boast a 6-0 record when hosting this season, but it is the Sharks who are clear favourites in Friday’s clash. Cronulla are 4/7 for the win, with Canterbury at 6/4. You can get 20/1 on the 80-minute draw and a subsequent spell of golden-point extra-time.

Team News

The Doggies have named Stephen Crichton as a potential reserve, but coming just two days after New South Wales’ dominant Game 2 showing the turnaround might be too tight for the Blues centre.

Blake Taaffe comes in for Connor Tracey at full-back and Bronson Xerri returns at centre, while Harry Hayes, Jacob Preston and Eli Clark join Crichton on the reserve list. Bailey Hayward, who was a sub last week, looks set to start at lock.

The Sharks are without Braden Hamlin-Uele, with Tuku Hau Tapuha stepping up to take his spot on the bench. Daniel Atkinson, Jesse Colquhoun, Mawene Hiroti, Teig Wilton and Jayden Berrell are on the Cronulla standby list.

Rugby League Odds

Sharks to score first two tries @ 2/1 (Price Boost from 7/4)

Cards on the table time: I root for the Bulldogs. But regardless of that fact, I’d still feel burned by having backed them last week when they went down to the Roosters. The first half total points market worked for us still, but this feels like it might be the week when the Dogs lose that unbeaten home record.

On their day, the Sharks are just about the most explosive attacking side in the business, especially with Nicho Hynes pulling the strings. And Hynes has been challenged by coach Craig Fitzgibbon to let his footy do the talking after he was dropped for Game 2 of Origin by NSW coach Michael Maguire in favour of Mitchell Moses.

I just don’t see Hynes lying down, and that could spell early trouble for the Bulldogs. Chuck in the fact that Betfred are offering a Price Boost on the Sharks to cross for the game’s first two tries, upping the odds from 7/4 to 2/1, and I can see the star half-back piloting his side to a decent early lead.

The revised price implies a 33.3% probability, and I’m happy to suggest the Sharks will rise to that.

Sharks first 2 tries @ 2/1

Sharks by 1-12 points @ 2/1

I have a lot of faith in the Sharks winning this one, but the Bulldogs don’t make it easy for the oppo anymore. This is no longer the side of Dean Pay or Trent Barrett, when the club’s general decline made defeats all too familiar. There’s some real fight after the Dogs these days.

That said, the Sharks on their day are better than Canterbury at their best, and if Hynes does step up to the challenge after his Origin axing, they should have it in them to beat the Bulldogs with just a little to spare.

Another 2/1 shot that could well come in for us.

Sharks by 1-12 @ 2/1

You can read all our latest Rugby League Betting Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights Rugby League content hub.

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