NRL Fantasy

A local derby for Thursday Night NRL in Round 18, as the Cronulla Sharks host the St George Illawarra Dragons. Whilst this traditional rivalry has historically been tight, the Sharks have dominated of late, and it would be very surprising if they don’t dominate again here.

Draftstars has a $12,000 guaranteed contest for the Sharks and Dragons, with several other contests available, there’s something for everyone, so get involved and make this game even more exciting!


Team News

The Sharks are coming off the bye in Round 17, and after the extra week off, the Sharks will welcome back prop Toby Rudolf who has missed 3 months with a foot injury. Rudolf has been named amongst the reserves; however, I believe he will play. No other changes expected at the Sharks.

The Dragons will be without centre Moses Suli (concussion), and is replaced by Tautau Moga. Jack Bird (knee) will also miss out, with Ben Murdoch-Masila promoted to start, with Toby Couchman and Jaiyden Hunt joining the bench.

Betting Markets

Cronulla Sharks ($1.11) vs St George Illawarra Dragons ($6.70)

Points total: 44.5 points

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This has cricket score written all over it, with the Dragons in free fall now since Head Coach Anthony Griffin was sacked before Round 12, and now Captain Ben Hunt has requested an immediate release. The Dragons are a dog’s breakfast right now, and a Sharks outfit looking to click back into top gear, they could put on a massive score here against the Dragons.

The Sharks hammered the Dragons 40-8 back in round 4 at Kogarah, and a similar scoreline is well and truly on the cards here. The Sharks have won the past 7, and I’ve got no doubt they’ll push that to 8 in a row on Thursday night.

Love It – Ronaldo Mulitalo - $12,900

Mulitalo continues to be a try scoring machine, scoring 13 on the season so far. A look back at the round 4 clash between these two sides saw Mulitalo with a solid 51.22, after scoring 2 tries and making 3 line-breaks. With the way this game projects to pan out, I fully expect Mulitalo to score at least one try, and anything more than that will be a bonus. 

Love It – Nicho Hynes - $27,720

Despite the price tag, this is pretty self-explanatory. Hynes averages over 80 this season, and is coming off a 93 against the Bulldogs in round 16. With only one score under 60 all season, you are all but guaranteed a massive score from Hynes, and he makes it exceedingly difficult to leave out, even at the price. Hynes managed 96.66 in round 4 against the Dragons, which coincidentally was the first game of the season for Hynes. A must have.

Love It – Francis Molo - $13,240

Molo is putting together a very solid run of form in DFS, scoring 40+ the past four weeks, including a 52.8 in round 14. His minutes spiked in rounds 14 and 16 (58, 60), however dropped back down last week. This is likely down to the return of Jack de Belin, who plays close to 80 minutes per game in the middle. Minutes don’t seem to be a concern however, and you can safely pencil Molo in for another 40+ score, pending injuries or HIA. Excellent value in this lower-middle priced forward field.

Hate It – Siosifa Talakai - $14,320

Talakai has struggled to regain his form from 2022 this season, and DFS is no different. He is averaging 41.3 over the course of the season, which is nothing to sneeze at, however his form of late has been concerning, averaging just 32.9 over the past 3 weeks. Now, Talakai is a high ceiling player, so fading him to this degree is slightly concerning, however the form he has shown lately doesn’t warrant me paying top dollar for him.

Hate It – Ben Hunt - $19,390

Hunt was in this list last week, with the distractions he was dealing with all week, and it turned out to be the correct call, as Hunt managed only 35 points. This week wouldn’t have been any easier for Hunt, with media speculation indicating Hunt was all but assured to get his release to the Broncos, Hunt was later told by the Dragons that they would not be releasing him, leaving him upset and still at the Dragons. This week, the Sharks could destroy the Dragons, limiting the amount of attacking stats Hunt will be able to rack up. Once again, Hunt is on the ‘no-go’ zone.

Who Knows – Mikaele Ravalawa - $10,740

The ultimate rocks and diamonds winger in DFS, Ravalawa knows his way to the try line, however if he has a quiet game, it tends to be VERY quiet. With the likelihood of a massive Sharks win, it would be easy to dismiss Ravalawa in this game. However, with two doubles this season, to go with his four scores of 50+, he is always a point of difference worth considering. 

Draftstars Suggested Lineup



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