The challenge of a local derby could be just what Cronulla need as the club looks for a way to snap a six-game losing streak and arrest an accelerating slide out of contention.
The Sharks must relocate the grit and defensive resolve that has defined the club for so long because St George have built a brand of imposing themselves physically on opposition sides this season.
Cronulla will need a lot more of what veteran prop Andrew Fifita delivered in his first game of the season.
Cronulla's second-half fightback to get to within four points of South Sydney on Saturday is encouraging but interim coach Josh Hannay is looking for more, particularly better fifth tackle options.
A date with their arch-rivals won't be an easy assignment after the Dragons' gutsy display against competition heavyweights Melbourne despite being down a man for much of the contest.
Coach Anthony Griffin has instilled a lot of fight in St George Illawarra and while they will be looking for more consistency from week to week Griffin knows they won't lie down if things go against them.
That resilience will be further tested by the injury and judiciary consequences of their trip to Brisbane.
Match: Sharks v Dragons
Round 11 -
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Sharks: Andrew Fifita is out, with Billy Magoulias added to the bench. Shaun Johnson was the other player omitted from the extended bench on Thursday night after failing to overcome his hamstring injury.
Franklin Pele is 18th man with Jensen Taumoepeau omitted from the playing squad on game day.
The Sharks have won four of their past five games against the Dragons, fullback Will Kennedy has scored five tries in his past four games at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium while prop Aaron Woods has scored three tries in his past four games against the Dragons.
Dragons: St George Illawarra have reshuffled their team on game day. Talatau Amone starts at centre, Billy Burns moves to the bach row, Poasa Faamausili shifting to the front row and Paul Vaughan to the bench.
Adam Clune replaces Daniel Alvaro on the bench, with Alvaro the new 18th man.
The Dragons are without Josh McGuire (five weeks), Tyrell Fuimaono (five weeks), Mikaele Ravalawa (two weeks) and Tariq Sims (one week) after all four entered guilty please to charges generated during the Magic Round loss to Melbourne. Fullback Matt Dufty (shoulder) is also sidelined.
Cody Ramsey shifts from wing to fullback while Jordan Pereira returns from suspension on one wing and youngster Max Feagai is the other winger.
Prop Jaiyden Hunt has been named to make his NRL debut from the bench where he will be joined by second-gamer Junior Amone, Kaide Ellis and Daniel Alvaro.
Billy Brittain dropped out of the side on game day after Hayden Lomax and Gerard Beale were trimmed from the reserves 24 hours before kick-off.
The Dragons have won only two of their past seven games at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Match: Sharks v Dragons
Round 11 -
Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William KennedyFullback for Dragons is number 1 Cody Ramsey
Winger for Sharks is number 2 Mawene HirotiWinger for Dragons is number 2 Jordan Pereira
Centre for Sharks is number 3 Josh DuganCentre for Dragons is number 3 Jack Bird
Centre for Sharks is number 4 Will ChambersCentre for Dragons is number 17 Talatau Amone
Winger for Sharks is number 5 Connor TraceyWinger for Dragons is number 5 Max Feagai
Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt MoylanFive-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
Prop for Sharks is number 8 Aiden TolmanProp for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke BraileyHooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron WoodsProp for Dragons is number 13 Poasa Faamausili
2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora2nd Row for Dragons is number 4 Billy Burns
2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr
Lock for Sharks is number 13 Toby RudolfLock for Dragons is number 12 Jackson Ford
Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Braydon TrindallInterchange for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Teig WiltonInterchange for Dragons is number 14 Kaide Ellis
Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack WilliamsInterchange for Dragons is number 15 Jaiyden Hunt
Interchange for Sharks is number 19 Billy MagouliasInterchange for Dragons is number 18 Adam Clune
Reserve for Sharks is number 20 Franklin PeleReserve for Dragons is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
Will Kennedy v Cody Ramsey: The Sharks No.1 has been one of the standouts in a tough season to date and his evasive skills will keep the Dragons on their toes.
Should the revamped Red V defensive combinations miss their assignments, Kennedy will make them pay. Ramsey is an up-and-comer with plenty of speed who finds himself shifted to fullback in the absence of the injured Matt Dufty.
He can expect plenty of high balls raining down on him as the Sharks kickers test him out.
The Dragons (344) and Cronulla (342) have missed more tackles than any other team in the competition while Sharks Toby Rudolf (42) and Chad Townsend (40) rank No.1 and No.2 in the individual category.
Whoever cleans up their defensive act best will be well on the way to victory.
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