The season began the way 2013 left off for the defending NSW Cup Premiers however the last two weeks have been a challenge for the Sharks who will look to end their two game slide when they take on the Warriors on Saturday.
The NSW Cup Sharks were competitive for long periods against the Knights last week however a lack of ball control eventually contributed to their downfall but there were enough good signs to suggest they can turn it around at Remondis Stadium this weekend.
Making his debut for the NSW Cup Sharks this week will be the experienced Eric Grothe Jnr, with the former international winger having recovered from broken ribs and fit to play his first ‘official’ game in Cronulla colours.
NSWRL.com’s Brad Preston has again produced his weekly match preview.
Summary: The Sharks will be attempting to stave off a third straight loss, something that hasn’t happened to them since round six 2012, when a desperate Warriors outfit heads to Remondis Stadium on Saturday.
The Warriors looked set for their first ever win last week only to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, conceding three late tries to the Tigers.
The Sharks performance against the Knights isn’t one that would not have pleased Tony Herman either so look for a much improved performance at home this round.
Not many changes here for the Warriors but both Sebastine Ikahihifo and Raymond Faitala Mariner have been named on an extended NRL bench, although whether one or both of those players start in the NRL will depend on the result of Sione Lousi’s appearance at the judiciary tonight.
No Sopoaga or Moors here for the Sharks but they will be boosted by the inclusions of Eric Grothe Jnr and Ben Roberts who will both add plenty of first grade experience to this side.
The Warriors (formerly Vulcans) were one of the few sides to knock off the Sharks last season so look for them to take it right up to the reigning premiers here.
Young guns: The battle between the two number nines should be a real highlight for all of those in attendance and also everyone watching both in New Zealand and right around Australia on Sky Sports and Fox Sports respectively.
Much has been written about Michael Lichaa in recent weeks, but cop the tip, if you haven’t seen this kid play, you’re in for a real treat.
Similarly so in regards to Siliva Havili. Havili is a very different hooker to that of Michael Lichaa though, but still very effective in his own way. Siliva is actually a throwback to hookers of old who were built more like locks.
Keep an eye on both of these young kids because you will see plenty of them in first grade over the coming decade.
Prediction: Hard to see Cronulla losing three in a row. Sharks by 7.
Cronulla Sharks Vs NZ Warriors
Remondis Stadium, Saturday, April 5
Referee: Daniel Olford
Broadcast: LIVE on Fox Sports 1 and Sky Sport NZ