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NRL: Sharks could struggle without Origin duo

Cronulla Sharks will be missing Nicho Hynes as they attempt to bounce back from a heavy defeat against Penrith Panthers when they face Parramatta Eels on Thursday.

A number of NRL clubs will be missing key players who have gone into State of Origin camp and the Sharks lose both Hynes and skipper Cam McInnes.

Despite losing heavily to the Panthers, the Sharks remain top of the ladder and are priced at 7.50 to win the grand final.

But now they face a big test to see how they can cope without the star duo.

Parramatta’s miserable season continues as they sit 15th on the ladder with just three wins all season.

However, with home advantage and the Sharks missing both Hynes and McInnes, they cannot be written off.

. What: Parramatta Eels v Cronulla Sharks
. Where: CommBank Stadium, Sydney
. When: 19:50 (AEST), Thursday 30th May 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 9
. Odds: Parramatta Eels 2.50, Cronulla Sharks 1.54

Moses may return for Eels

Parramatta have been desperately awaiting the return of star playmaker Mitch Moses and it could happen this week.

The Eels were doing it tough before Moses got injured, but they have lost five on the bounce while he has been out and clearly need him back.

Skipper Clint Gutherson could also return after a couple of weeks on the sidelines to boost Parramatta even further.

Caretaker coach Trent Barrett remains at the helm following the departure of Brad Arthur and will be delighted to have two of his star players back.

It is not all good news, however, as J’maine Hopgood has also been called into Queensland’s Origin camp.

They will also need to tighten up in defence to have any chance against the Sharks, having conceded at least 30 points in six of their last seven games.

If the Eels are to get the victory, it is likely to be close and they can be backed at 3.75 to win by 1-12 points.

Maika Sivo will also be key after the winger scored 11 tries in his last seven games, while Blaize Talagi has scored in each of the last three games.

Sharks look to bounce back

The Sharks had been flying but came crashing back down to earth following a 42-0 defeat against Penrith Panthers last weekend.

It came after impressive wins over Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters, so they will be keen to show it was just a blip.

The losses of Hynes and McInnes are big blows, but they will be confident of having the players capable of stepping in to fill the voids.

The Sharks won both games against the Eels last season, but there was not much in it.

They won by four points in this fixture in 2023 and are 7.50 to win by 1-5 points once again.

Cronulla love a trip to CommBank as well, winning their last three trips to the venue.

Ronaldo Mulitalo has nine tries in 11 games this season and will be out to add to that tally on Thursday evening.

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