Cronulla Sharks ready for St George Illawarra 'street fight' in derby clash

The Sharks will be ready for a battle against the Dragons on Sunday. Picture: John Veage
The Sharks will be ready for a battle against the Dragons on Sunday. Picture: John Veage

Sharks enforcer Braden Hamlin-Uele says Cronulla will be ready should St George Illawarra's insinuated 'street fight' come to fruition.

Speaking after their win over wooden spooners Gold Coast at Kogarah last Saturday, Dragons coach McGregor said his side would need to stand up to the Sharks and not allow themselves to be bullied when they arrive in the shire for their derby clash on Sunday.

"Next week is a different story. We'll buckle down early in the week and come out and try and spoil a few sides to finish the year," McGregor said.

"We've got Cronulla at Shark Park which is a local derby so they'll be coming out to bully us. So we've got to make sure we don't allow that. So we've got to be ready for a street fight there."

Cronulla's fearsome forward pack is known for its physicality and Hamlin-Uele said the Sharks would be prepared to defend their patch come Sunday.

"They'll come to bash us," Hamlin-Uele said.

"I think Mary McGregor said it was going to be a street fight. And we'll be ready for anything.

Braden Hamlin-Uele. Picture: AAP Image

Braden Hamlin-Uele. Picture: AAP Image

"100 per cent [we'll be ready for it]. It's a local derby at our home ground and we can't back down."

Already missing Jack de Belin through unavailability, the Dragons will also be without NSW forward Tariq Sims who underwent groin surgery in Sydney on Monday and will miss the rest of the season.

Cronulla will look to bounce back from a disappointing first half effort in their loss to Penrith, knowing a win will be enough to ensure they climb back into the top eight by the end of the weekend.

The Sharks got the better of the Dragons when they met in round 11, running out 22-9 winners in Wollongong. There will also be extra bragging rights for the winners with the Monty Porter Cup up for grabs.

"[Round 11 against the Dragons] was one of the biggest games I've played with the emotion that was behind it," Hamlin-Uele said.

"[Sharks coach John Morris] said before there's two types of people in the shire, Sharks supporters and Dragons supporters. And hopefully we can convert more to be Sharks supporters this week.

"We definitely have to be better in the middle. Some of us including myself didn't have the best game [against Penrith]. The beauty about rugby league is you get to rectify it this week and I think when our middles are on the whole team is on.

"The boys out the back can get some more movement and we can lay the platform. That's what we need to get back to."

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