The Sharks Under-20’s were given a definite reality check last Sunday when a strong Newcastle Knights side ran up 56 points in inflicting their second loss of the season.
Following two good wins and a last minute loss to the undefeated Dragons, it was a disappointing performance from the young Sharks, who have a chance to atone when they tackle one of the perennial competition hot shots in the New Zealand Warriors.
In the Sharks favour will be the return of tough-tackling prop Kurt Dillon, while Valentine Holmes, who has been on standby for Michael Gordon throughout the week for a possible NRL debut, has been included in the team and will boost the attacking component of Cronulla’s game.
But the match likely wont be won solely by attack, with the Sharks needing to get their defense in order to challenge the physical Warriors outfit.
After two losses to start their year the Warriors have returned to something close to their best form, with a 26-24 victory over the Tigers at their last start boosting their confidence ahead of this weeks’ trip to Remondis Stadium.
The Sharks will need to be wary of backrower Michael Ki, the scorer of three tries last week, while prop Sam Lisone was outstanding in the victory over the Tigers in running for almost 200 metres.
With the two sides on four competition points, both will be keen for a win to have them heading in a positive direction and out of a mid-table log-jam. At present there are eight teams tied in fifth position on the NYC ladder on four points, with the Sharks 10th on for-and-against.
The Sharks v Warriors NYC match up is the first of three games at Remondis Stadium on Saturday, with kickoff scheduled for 10.40am.
Gates to Remondis Stadium will open at 10.30am.