Bruisers back to take on SBW - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bruisers back to take on SBW

By David Beniuk 25/05/2008 12:55:53 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla will welcome back the bruise brigade of Paul Gallen, Greg Bird and Ben Ross when they take on the Bulldogs in Monday night's NRL clash at ANZ Stadium.

Captain Gallen and lock Bird return from State of Origin duty with NSW while prop Ross has been named on an extended bench and should play his first game since copping an eight-match suspension in round two for a late shot on Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk.

The steady Sharks will be looking for their third straight win and in-form five-eighth Brett Seymour said the return of the trio was timely as his pack looks to nullify Dogs superstar Sonny Bill Williams.

"Birdy and Gall are on fire at the moment and Rossy I'm sure is champing at the bit to get a game," Seymour said.

"I'm sure they don't go out to hunt each other down but in a game of footy they'll get into each other somewhere, but Sonny's a good player and we'll have to watch out for him."

Cronulla's attack continues to come under scrutiny - they average just 15.6 points per game - but the Sharks showed glimpses of sparkle in their 13-6 win over a depleted Brisbane last week.

Hooker Isaac De Gois, winger Misi Taulapapa and Seymour were central to those, the former Brisbane five-eighth in particular laying on a clever set-piece scrum move for fullback Brett Kearney to score.

"It's one of a few moves that we've got, it comes off once in a blue moon," Seymour told AAP.

"It was good that the play worked but we'll need to get a new one for the next few weeks.

"I'd say there's still a lot of improvement in there.

"If we can slowly get better than we'll be happy. It doesn't matter how many points you score as long as you score more than the opposition."

The Bulldogs have lost three straight but showed plenty of spirit in their 24-20 loss to competition leaders Gold Coast last week.

They'll be without fullback Luke Patten, who has a back injury, which gives Cameron Phelps the opportunity to play his farewell game before heading to Wigan in the No.1 jersey.

And in a boost for the struggling Dogs, halfback Ben Roberts, centre Daryl Millard and goalkicking winger Hazem El Masri have all been named to make returns from injury.

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