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After three seasons with Cronulla Sutherland, Shaun Johnson is back in familiar waters today but this time swimming against the Sharks for the first time since re-joining the Vodafone Warriors.

In his second Vodafone Warriors career, he returns to PointsBet Stadium on the back of golden point heroics in each of the club's last two wins over North Queensland and Canberra.

Today he'll be looking to get one over his old club following on from the Vodafone Warriors' 21-20 bounce back win last Saturday following the shattering Anzac Day loss to Melbourne.

Cronulla is back home striving to recover from a shock loss to Brisbane in round eight.

The match-up between Johnson and Nicho Hynes will be worth the price of admission alone while the Warriors' forward pack aimed up against Canberra's big men and will need to do so again in enemy territory.

The Rundown

Team news

Sharks: Dale Finucane is back and is listed to start at lock, shifting Cameron McInnes to the interchange and Braydon Trindall to 18th man. Aiden Tolman is listed to start but swapped with Royce Hunt last week. Club captain Wade Graham will come off the bench for his second appearance after getting through 23 minutes last week. Outside backs Matt Ikuvalu and Connor Tracey are back fit again after injuries earlier in the season but are among the reserves.

Warriors:

A heart-warming sight for all league fans with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak named to return after a nasty concussion against the Storm on Anzac Day. DWZ replaces Jesse Arthurs (shoulder) on the wing with Rocco Berry and Viliami Vailea maintaining their spots in the centres. Bayley Sironen moves to 18th man, replaced by Eliesa Katoa in the back row while Aaron Pene returns from a one-match suspension on the bench.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
  • Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
    Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
    Centre for Warriors is number 3 Viliami Vailea
  • Centre for Sharks is number 4 Siosifa Talakai
    Centre for Warriors is number 4 Rocco Berry
  • Winger for Sharks is number 22 Connor Tracey
    Winger for Warriors is number 5 Adam Pompey
  • Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
    Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Daejarn Asi
  • Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Nicholas Hynes
    Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson

Forwards

  • Prop for Sharks is number 8 Toby Rudolf
    Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
  • Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
  • Prop for Sharks is number 13 Dale Finucane
    Prop for Warriors is number 10 Matthew Lodge
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Teig Wilton
    2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
  • Lock for Sharks is number 15 Cameron McInnes
    Lock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sharks is number 10 Aiden Tolman
    Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jack Murchie
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Jack Williams
    Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Ben Murdoch-Masila
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Wade Graham
    Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 19 Andrew Fifita
    Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Aaron Pene

Reserves

  • Replacement for Sharks is number 21 Mawene Hiroti
  • Reserve for Warriors is number 18 Bayley Sironen

Match Officials

  • Referee: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Darian Furner
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Adam Gee

Last updated:

Key match-up

Siosifa Talakai v Rocco Berry: The battle of the halfbacks aside, there will be another big emphasis on shutting down Sharks centre Talakai after he was well-handled by Kotoni Staggs last week. The Warriors' edges were reshuffled last week but as Talakai showed in the first half the last time the Sharks played at PointsBet Stadium, he's a hard man to stop if given time with the ball. The man tasked with the job, Berry, has 12 games of first grade under his belt and will need help from the men around him to shut Talakai down.

Stat attack

Cronulla has produced a whopping 41 line break assists in its opening eight games, more than double the Vodafone Warriors (18) to start the year. Those assists have resulted in 33 Sharks tries while the Vodafone Warriors have converted most of theirs to 22. Hynes and Talakai lead the competition with nine each while Will Kennedy (7) is also in the top three. The Vodafone Warriors' best is Johnson with five.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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