Tough test for NYC Sharks
They ‘stole’ a win with two tries in the last three minutes against the Bulldogs, following on from a dominating performance in putting 50-points on the Titans the week before, however the intensity is set to lift to another level when the NYC Sharks host the Dragons in the local derby match at Remondis Stadium this weekend.
Two teams who are undefeated through the first two rounds of the under-20’s competition, with the Dragons themselves riding high after impressive victories over the Tigers and Warriors.
This week will certainly be another test for the young Cronulla side, with new coach Dave Howlett trying to keep his teams feet on the ground despite their strong start.
While they escaped with a win at ANZ on Monday night, the win left the coach less than impressed with some aspects of their play, with the Sharks aren’t getting too far ahead of themselves at this early stage of the season.
“We managed to perform under pressure at the end, but were incredibly lucky to get away with it after a defensively weak first half,” Howlett said. ‘We’re happy with the win, but we’re only taking it round by round.”
What would have pleased Howlett, other than the character shown to fight back in the closing stages of the Bulldogs match, was his teams ability to score points.
After racking up 50 in round one, the Sharks added 32 points in the Bulldogs win, leaving them second on the ladder, and second in points score, behind only their opponents this week the St George Illawarra Dragons.
For the Sharks Valentine Holmes has been especially impressive, with the 18-year-old fullback crossing for six tries in just two appearances.
Ironically, the last two Dragons wins have also been built around some exciting play for their number one, with Matt Dufty going over for four tries in the opening round win and a fifth four pointer in his teams victory over the Warriors.
But while the likes of Holmes, half back Fa’amanu Brown and Jaden Clark will hope to continue to produce some sizzling attacking football, they will be looking to the forward pack to again lay a solid foundation, with the likes of Kurt Dillon, Chad McGill and Patrice Siolo effective in the middle of the field in the opening two rounds.
The Sharks and Dragons NYC clash kicks off at 4.40pm on Saturday, the second of two games to be played at Remondis Stadium, following the NSW Cup match at 2.40pm and before the NRL match set down to begin at 7.00pm.