NYC Match Preview – Sharks v Knights
They faced the undefeated Dragons last week and the assignment hardly gets any easier this Sunday when the NYC Sharks take on another unbeaten rival in the Newcastle Knights.
The Sharks looked to have snatched victory with a 73rd minute try in the Dragons clash, only to have their opponents score a long-range try three minutes from time in a game which saw the young Sharks go down to the final moments of the contest for a second week in succession.
The week before the Sharks escaped with the points courtesy of a Valentine Holmes try on the stroke of fulltime, with coach Dave Howlett certain to be wishing for a more comfortable final few minutes than the last two matches have provided.
This Sunday however the NYC Sharks will need to lift their game another level at Hunter Stadium, with the NYC Knights sure to be riding high on confidence following a 50-0 thumping of the Melbourne Storm.
The Knights in fact go into the match with three wins from their three starts, with the thrashing of the Storm the highlight of their season so far.
While able to pile on the points themselves over the opening rounds the Sharks will be intent on stiffening up their defense, having leaked 84 points so far this season, with the Knights ready to capitalize should the Cronulla side display any defensive weaknesses.
The Sharks will again look towards a couple of their young guns in Holmes and half back Fa’amanu Brown to get them home, with Holmes on top of the competition points scorers list and hoping to add to his 54 point haul in the Knights game.
The Knights also lead one of the NYC statistical categories, with fullback Jake Mamo the leading try scorer on seven just three matches into the season. Holmes crossed for six tries in his first few games but was kept out by the Dragons at his last start.
Hooker Kurt Drysdale was also solid for the Sharks in the Dragons loss, while Anthony Moraitis and Winstone Asotasi, missing for the first two games with illness and injury, certain to be improved by the run against the Dragons.
The Sharks v Dragons NYC match up is scheduled for a early start at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, with kickoff set down for 10.45am.