Cronulla Sharks vs Dolphins Predictions: High-Scoring Duel At Shark Park

 | Wednesday 12th June 2024, 12:51pm

Wednesday 12th June 2024, 12:51pm

Nicholas Hynes Cronulla Sharks 2023

The intense competitiveness of the NRL Premiership will be on show again on Thursday as the second-placed Cronulla Sharks host the fourth-placed Dolphins (kick-off 10:50 BST, 19:50 local).

Wayne Bennett’s side have had the benefit of an extra bye round so far, but a win at PointsBet Stadium would bring them right into the conversation for a top-two push at a time when no team in the entire league has won in more than three of the last five rounds. Here are my Cronulla Sharks vs Dolphins predictions…

Cronulla Sharks vs Dolphins Tips

  • Handicap 3-Way Alternative 2: Sharks -16 @ 9/5
  • Total Points Over 47.5 @ 5/6

Cronulla Sharks vs Dolphins Odds

The Sharks are 1/3 – implying a 75% probability – to take the win on home soil, as they have done in four of five previous games this season at Shark Park. You can get 12/5 on the Dolphins winning, and 22/1 on the draw.

Team News

Nicho Hynes is back for the Sharks after Origin duty, with Braden Hamlin-Uele returning to the bench. Teig Wilton and Jesse Colquhoun are both sidelined with no return date set for either just yet.

For the Dolphins, Jesse Bromwich is still a week away with a rib issue, but Kodi Nikorima is back in the halves after a calf problem. Tesi Niu and Tom Flegler are long-term absentees, with Tom Gilbert is out for the season with a knee injury.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is back after turning in a starring display for the Maroons, crossing for a hat-trick at Accor Stadium, with Felise Kaufusi returning to the front row.

Handicap 3-Way Alternative 2: Sharks -16 @ 9/5

This one ought to be close for long periods. The Sharks have at times this season looked as convincing a shout for Grand Final honours as they have at any time since their sole success in 2016.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, give most teams a battle, with Wayne Bennett’s troops having delivered plenty of high-scoring, nip-and-tuck encounters over their 15-month NRL existence.

But if either side are going to put their foot down and come away with the points late, I have a feeling it will be the Sharks. With Hynes back alongside Braydon Trindall, there’s a real creative edge in the Cronulla half-back department, and they should have enough in the tank to pull away and cover the alternative 16-point handicap. The 9/5 is certainly tempting.

Sharks -16 @ 9/5

Total Points Over 47.5 @ 5/6

As mentioned already, the Dolphins love a duke-out. In 15 of their 36 NRL fixtures since entering the competition they have covered off the ‘Over 47.5’ for total points, and that includes five of their 12 matches in 2024.

They have full-back Tabuai-Fidow back in the line-up and no doubt in buoyant mood following his hat-trick in Game 1 of the State of Origin. He’s one of three players – alongside wingers Jack Bostock and Jamayne Isaako to have combined for 26 tries so far this term, showing they have plenty of strike on the edges.

But I’ve got the Sharks to win this one, and I reckon they can more than match the Dolphins for firepower with the likes of Sione Kato, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Thomas Hazelton, Siosifa Talalkai and Trindall having all chipped in with more than their fair share of tries in 2024. That should make for a high-scoring encounter.

Over 47.5 Total Points @ 5/6

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

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