The Sharks Academy teams in the under 13’s 14’s and 17’s age groups performed strongly at Gala Days held by the Bulldogs and Knights yesterday.
The 13’s and 14’s Sharks were in action at East Hills, playing against the likes of the Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Eels and Illawarra Steelers, while the 17’s headed north to Newcastle where they came up against Manly, Illawarra, the Knights and the Central Coast.
At East Hills the 13’s and 14’s were impressive throughout the day with both beating the Bulldogs then the Steelers in their opening two matches.
The 13’s then progressed to a semi final, where they again proved too good for a second Bulldogs outfit, before taking on the Panthers in the Gala Day final.
The youngest Sharks squad eventually went down in the final by four tries to nil to the Penrith side however their overall performance has Sharks officials and coaching staff excited about the future prospects of this age group.
In the 14’s, after two strong wins a narrow three tries to two loss to Manly was a slight hiccup, however following their opening two matches the Sharks still managed to progress to the competition final.
In an entertaining and keenly contested the match the Sharks were edged out by two tries to one by a much bigger and physically imposing Eels line up, but again the signs were extremely positive from all involved in the under 14’s squad.
Up in Newcastle the 17’s began their day with a two tries all draw with Manly, before playing some enterprising football in a three-one win over the hosts the Newcastle Knights.
In there next match they stepped up another gear in dominating the Illawarra 17’s to the tune of six tries to one in what was there most impressive performance on the day.
Down on troops with a number of niggling injuries keeping some players sidelined, the 17’s Sharks were brave in their last match in going down by five tries to four to the Central Coast.
Overall it was an outstanding exercise for all concerned, with the young Sharks enjoying the day and certain to be better for the experience.
Gala Day Results
East Hills – Under 13’s
Sharks 3 (tries) beat Bulldogs 1 (try)
Sharks 4 beat Illawarra 1
Sharks 3 beat Bulldogs Blue 1
Final – Sharks 0 lost to Panthers 4
East Hills – Under 14’s
Sharks 3 (tries) beat Bulldogs 0
Sharks 3 beat Illawarra 1
Sharks 2 lost to Manly 3
Final – Sharks 1 lost to Eels 2
Newcastle – Under 17’s
Sharks 2 (tries) drew Manly 2 (tries)
Sharks 3 beat Knights 1
Sharks 6 beat Illawarra 1
Sharks 4 lost to Central Coast 5