In a game vital to the finals hopes of their opponents the Sharks have the ‘Hayne plane’ well and truly in their sights as they look to finish the last six rounds of the 2014 season on a winning note.
Currently 12th but level on 22 points with the seventh-placed Cowboys, the hugely talented Jarryd Hayne appears the key to the Eels chances, with the Sharks certain to be plotting his demise as a key element of their game plan on Saturday.
Hayne was at his dazzling best for the Eels when they beat the Titans last weekend, with containing the Blues Origin fullback instrumental to the Sharks chances of success at Remondis Stadium tomorrow.
After a strong win of their own last week in Bathurst the Sharks will go into the game confident of upsetting an Eels side fighting for a finals berth, with the loss of Matt Prior due to suspension the only change to the victorious Cronulla line up.
In his place the Sharks have the every-reliable Anthony Tupou back from a week on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, while skipper Paul Gallen is still another week or two away from a return as he battles to overcome a biceps tear.
This match will mark the second meeting of the two sides in 2014, with the Eels trouncing the Sharks 42-24 back in round nine at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium in a game the Cronulla side would rather forget.
But weighing somewhat in the Sharks favour is the fact that the past two seasons the teams have split the results, with the Sharks winning twice at Remondis and the Eels on both occasions the matches were played at Parramatta Stadium. The home team will obviously be hoping the trend continues on Saturday afternoon.
In an incentive to get along to Saturday’s game, new sponsor ENZED are offering $100k worth of Kids tickets (14yrs and under) for this weekend’s match and also for the Sharks last home game against the Raiders on Sunday, August 24.
The free ticket offer is for general admission and will operate all afternoon.
The NRL match on Saturday is scheduled to get underway at the ‘family friendly’ time of 3.00pm, with the NYC game, also between the Sharks and Eels, at 12.40pm.
In the NYC the young Sharks will be seeking some sort of revenge, with the second-placed Eels stealing the points from their last contest with a try after the fulltime siren for a 38-34 win.
For those fans arriving early, the first game at Remondis will see the Wentworthville Magpies take on the Wyong Roos in a NSW Cup clash from 10.40. The NSW Cup Sharks have a week’s break with the bye.
Gates to Remondis Stadium open at 10.30am.