NSW Cup Preview - Bears vs Sharks in ANZ Stadium Triple Header on Saturday

North Sydney Bears vs Cronulla Sharks

ANZ Stadium, Saturday 1 June

Kick-off: 3:10pm


Summary:
The match that has stood out on the draw has finally arrived.


The top of the table clash between the Bears and the Sharks promises to be a beauty and how fitting that it is also the Fox Sports Match of the Round broadcast LIVE around the country and played at a wonderful stadium like ANZ Stadium.


The Sharks should be well rested having had their first bye of the season last weekend while the Bears suffered just their third loss of the campaign, going down to the Jets in the second leg of the Frank Hyde Shield.


The Bears look set to field a slightly weakened side here with Souths now needing to fill a hole in their first grade side following the suspension of Sam Burgess.


The Sharks have their own team troubles to worry about with a host of regulars not named to play.


Both the Sharks and Storm NRL teams have the bye this round, so there is some chance there may be late additions to this Sharks side, although you would hazard a guess that with a long and gruelling Origin series just beginning, players will be given rest.


Regardless of the make-up of the side, the Sharks have already shown this year that they are not just a one trick pony in regards to relying on the likes of Finch and Blair from Melbourne, and Chad Townsend has been one of the form players in the competition and will be looking to lead the Sharks to their 12th straight win.


Talking Point: Curtis Johnston returns to the Bears line up for the first time this season.


Johnston has been one of the NSW Cups most prolific try scorers in the past few years, in fact, having scored 57 tries in his past three seasons, only the likes of Michael Lett (now retired) could challenge Curtis statistics to get over the stripe during that time frame.


A highly publicised incident earlier in the season saw Johnston stood down pending an investigation by ASADA, however no charges were laid and Curtis has been back playing for the Asquith Magpies in the Ron Massey Cup for the past month or so.


There are not too many better in the air than Johnston, so look for Keary and Nicholls to kick to his wing early and often.


To purchase tickets for the Bears-Rabbitohs triple header at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, click here.