Gibbs-Prior escape suspension
After accepting early guilty pleas relating to Grade One Careless high tackle charges, both Bryce Gibbs and Matt Prior will be available to tackle the Dragons in the local derby on Saturday night.
The pair were charged in the game against the Bulldogs, Gibbs for a high shot on Dale Finucane in the 11th minute, Prior for a tackle gone wrong on Sam Perrett in the second half of the match, with the two Sharks pleading guilty to the charges.
Going forward, Gibbs will have 56 carry over points which will be added to any offences down the track, Prior 67. Under the new judiciary system, players also wipe five points off their carryover tally with each game where they do not offend.
Sharks coach Peter Sharp will breathe a little easier knowing the pair are available to play, considering the talent he already has watching on from the sidelines.
Andrew Fifita has one more week to run on a suspension, while the likes of Paul Gallen, Jeff Robson, Luke Lewis, Beau Ryan and Anthony Tupou are still a couple more rounds away from a return.
The first game for Todd Carney for 2014 will certainly help the Sharks cause, with the ball playing five eighth training strongly at Remondis Stadium on Wednesday morning.
Sharp has named a five-man bench for the Dragons game, with David Fifita and Soisaia Vave likely to battle it out for the final interchange spot.
All Sharks barring Wade Graham trained on Wednesday, with the stand in captain missing the session due to hip bruise suffered in the Bulldogs match. Graham isn’t however in any doubt for the Dragons clash.
“A couple of days of rest and I will be right,” was Graham’s assessment of his injury status.
The Sharks and Dragons play for the Monty Porter Sports Foundation Cup on Saturday night, the game scheduled to kick off at 7.00pm.