Sharks take a break
On their first day back on home soil since returning from Auckland and the NRL Nines the Sharks took a well-earned break from training today.
Other than those players who needed a little physio to help with the bumps and bruises, their Remondis Stadium headquarters was deserted, with those who didn’t travel to NZ on the weekend also being granted a break.
While the 18-man squad was overseas the remainder of the playing group weren’t spared as they continued the hard work required under the guidance of assistant coach James Shepherd and the Sharks training and high performance staff.
Tomorrow the entire group is back on deck, with Coach Shane Flanagan set to assess the troops and decide on a squad for the Manly trial this Saturday.
At this stage many of the boys who played in the Nines are unlikely to back up, however the Sharks are expected to still field a strong side to tackle the Sea Eagles.
Stay tuned to the Sharks website and Sharks News Today for trial team announcements.
Positive fan feedback
While the Sharks Nines team received plenty of praise for their efforts in Auckland, an email sent to a club corporate partner, forwarded to Sharks News Today, shows a particular group of members were also at the top of their game over the weekend.
Kiwi Steve Briant, a friend of Corporate Partner Craig Denton from Hollywood Cake Designs, complemented a group of Sharks members for their behaviour, attitude and sense of fun while a part of the large crowd at Eden Park on Saturday and Sunday.
We checked with Steve and Craig who were happy for us to share their correspondence, with an excerpt from the email reproduced below.
Well done to those and to all Sharks members who gave the team outstanding support while in New Zealand at the Nines.
“I don’t know if you have any newsletter or some-such that goes out to the members but If so I would quite like to say a big thank-you to a group of your members that were at the hallowed Rugby turf of Eden Park that us staunch league supporters took over for last weekend.
The group I am speaking of, about 9 of them, had 2015 members caps on and in full Sharkie regalia so it wasn’t hard to pick them out!
Throughout the whole tournament they were an absolute joy to be sitting just a couple of rows back from and watch. Not holding back from waving flags and shouting positive comments to their team they also clapped the other teams. Their attitude and the way they behaved was outstanding and it should be noted and mentioned with a sense of pride for them and the club.
We have all experienced our clubs letting us down at times so I hope Craig, as a sponsor, you may be able to get my congratulatory thanks out to the members and say a big well done and come back next year and beat the Rabbitohs (but you may have to settle for 2nd behind the Warriors!!!! LOL).
We did talk to them at the end of the tournament, both Helen and I told them how we felt but to have them thanked publicly if at all possible would be a lovely thought.”
Plenty was written and said about the Sharks and their performance in the NRL Nines.
They may have come up agonisingly short of claiming the title but no question it was an outstanding effort from all concerned.
Links to a collection of news reports and video highlights are below, however the best of all may be the 2MMM audio of their live game call, with Peter Sterling, Dan Ginnane and Jimmy Smith commentating the action.
If you only listen to the first minute or so of the audio it is well worth it, featuring the last minute Jack Bird try in the corner, then the incredible sideline conversion from Valentine Holmes.
Its awesome radio, and if a Sharks supporter it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand to attention. Click on the 2MMM link and scroll down to their audio from the Nines final.
Some of the other news included a report, video highlights and Greg Alexander from Fox Sports commenting on the Nines, along with articles speculating about the make-up of Shane Flanagan’s team for both this weekend’s trial game and for the season ahead.
Wade Graham and Nathan Gardner returned to the rugby league at the Nines, with both speaking with Sydney Morning Herald reporters, while Jack Bird had a massive weekend in Auckland and as explained by Margie McDonald now comes well and truly into the frame as a potential starter in the Sharks NRL side this season.
If you missed it, we provide it, see what they wrote and said courtesy of Sharks in the News.
2MMM – Nines report and audio – CLICK HERE
Graham enjoying rugby league again – Sydney Morning Herald – CLICK HERE
Gardner’s big Nines performance – Sydney Morning Herald – CLICK HERE
Nines a new beginning – Fox Sports – CLICK HERE
Big Guns to step out - Daily Telegraph - CLICK HERE
Jack Bird’s a chance - The Australian - CLICK HERE
New found spirit – Sydney Morning Herald – CLICK HERE
Nines wrap - Stuff.co.nz – CLICK HERE
Gal comes out on top
It was definitely the toughest of his three professional boxing bouts however Sharks captain Paul Gallen won the fight and came through unscathed after scoring a four-round points decision over Randall Rayment.
Rayment stripped extremely fit for the Gallen fight, something that couldn’t be said for Sonny Bill Williams’ opponent later in the evening, with the former MMA exponent turned-boxer certainly testing Gal’s ring craft and toughness.
In the end however his ability to absorb punishment, combined with his ever-improving boxing skills saw Gallen come out on top via a unanimous decision.
Immediately after the fight Gallen was asked about the potential of a match up with Sonny Bill sometime in the future, and while not ruling out the possibility of it happening, spoke of his attention now shifting 100 per cent back to the Sharks and to the 2015 NRL season.
"I just want to get back to footy and put my heart and soul into footy," he told Brad Walter of the Sydney Morning Herald.
See a report on the fight and more of what Gallen had to say by following the link to the SMH article – CLICK HERE
From the Sharks
Sharks Corporate hospitality is on now sale for the 2015 season, with opportunities available for ground signage, player sponsorships or a variety of Remondis Stadium hospitality packages.
Watch the Sharks home games in style or have your ‘brand’ enjoy the benefits of a Sharks corporate partnership.
For more information and to contact our Corporate Sales Team – CLICK HERE
And don’t forget the Season Launch and Fan Day, February 22 at Remondis Stadium.
It will be an exciting way to kick off the 2015 season, so come on down, meet your favourite player and join in the festivities.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Jon Stevens at Sharkies
A limited number of tickets are still available for this Friday night, February 6 to see rock legend Jon Stevens perform at Sharkies League Club.
The Stevens show at Sharkies is one of only two appearances in Sydney as a part of his ‘Take Me Back’ Tour. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased from the Sharks Store at Sharkies Leagues or via Ticketek.
Last but not least
Own a special piece of memorabilia by bidding for a match-worn and signed Sharks Nines jersey, as played in by the team in New Zealand last weekend.
All 18 jerseys are up for grabs, with the auction closing 5.00pm on Wednesday.
These are one-off pieces of Sharks memorabilia.
CLICK HERE and make a bid now.