The NSW Cup Sharks were given a lift with the announcement of new front of jersey sponsor Parkside Pharmacy at Miranda, with the team to run out with their newly logoed jerseys for this week’s game against the Wests Tigers on Saturday.
And with the match shaping as an important one in relation to staying in touch with the front runners in the NSW Cup competition, the team and coach Tony Herman are sure to accept any little edge they can get.
The Sharks will however field a strong line up, one with an abundance of top grade experience and with the NRL squad naming 20 players this week, they may be even strengthened further by the addition of those to not make the final NRL side.
Despite the loss to the Wentworthville Magpies last weekend there was plenty to like about the performance of a Sharks team which had up to seven changes from the selected team and was forced to play three youngsters from the NYC squad, yet only went down by two points to the NSW Cup competition leader.
The Sharks v Wests Tigers NSW Cup clash is scheduled for a 3.15pm kickoff at Remondis Stadium as the second of three games to be played on the day.
Following, NSWRL media has again produced a match preview for this week’s match.
Summary: Two sides with near identical records square off here in what is the second of three games between the two clubs on the day.
Both the Tigers (5th) and Sharks (7th) have won five games and lost four thus far in 2014, with only for and against separating them at present. The stats would say that the Tigers are slightly the better defensively while the Sharks the same in an attacking sense.
These stats are probably best summarized by last week’s performances. The Sharks shot out to an 18-0 lead against Wenty and went on to score 28 for the match but still lost as they conceded 30 while the Tigers, only managed to post 22 points against a Manly team that had been conceding 26 a match.
The Tigers will be boosted this week by the inclusions of Keith Lulia, Joel Luani and Sitaleki Akauolo while for the Sharks, it is always difficult to anticipate just who will take to the park due to a number of factors, including their relationship with the Storm, but their NRL side has named a large extended bench, so anticipate some late inclusions here.
Consistently Inconsistent: We have always said that the Sharks relationship with Melbourne is a double edged sword. Yes, many would argue that the relationship helped carry the side to a VB NSW Cup title in 2013, but you only need to take a look at the Sharks this year to understand better the other side of the coin.
Take the Sharks halves as an example of what Tony Herman has to deal with each week. The following is a breakdown of the Sharks halves combinations over the opening ten rounds. Rd 10: Roberts & Manumalealii Rd 9: Politoni & Manumalealii Rd 8B: BYE Rd 8: Manumalealii & Holdsworth Rd 7: Hampton & Holdsworth Rd 6: Hampton & Holdsworth Rd 5: Roberts & Manumalealii Rd 4: Politoni & Manumalealii Rd 3: Roberts & Manumalealii Rd 2: Roberts & Politoni Rd 1: Mann & Manumalealii. As displayed above, only in rounds six and seven have the Sharks carried the same halves combination into consecutive matches and unsurprisingly, the Sharks won both of those fixtures. Some food for thought.
Prediction: The Sharks should be too strong at home. Sharks by 8.
Cronulla Sharks Vs Wests Tigers
Remondis Stadium, Saturday, May 17
Referee: Liam Nicholls
Broadcast: NSWRL Match Centre coverage available via NSWRL.com.au