Manly Trial a positive start
Coaches primarily look to get two things from pre-season trial matches, for signs that the fitness and ball work throughout the summer has the team on track to start the year strongly come round one, and for two, that they come through with no serious injury concerns.
On the first objective coach Shane Flanagan had reason to be satisfied with what his NRL squad delivered at Pittwater Park on Saturday.
Ben Barba looked sharp, his combination with half back Jeff Robson a highlight of the 30 minutes they played, while the likes of Anthony Tupou and Michael Gordon certainly showed the benefit of largely uninterrupted, injury-free pre-season campaigns.
Despite the absence of those in the senior playing group who had played at the Nines in Auckland the week prior, the best Sharks 13 put 16 points to nil on the best Manly 13 on the night in around half an hour of football.
As for the second item on the checklist, Flanagan would have been concerned when Jayson Bukuya, then Jacob Gagan, limped off with hamstring injuries. Thankfully, scans have indicated they are likely to right and available for selection for the start of the season on March 8.
“Both aren’t as serious as we first thought,” Flanagan said. “The pair of them should be ready to go for round one.”
For more on the Sharks v Manly trial, see the match report on the Sharks website – CLICK HERE
Fifita a late call-up
Usually it is Andrew getting the call up to the various rep teams but this time it was twin David Fifita who was added as a late replacement for the Indigenous All Stars squad for the match against the NRL All Stars on Friday evening.
David joined teammate Ben Barba in camp with the Indigenous team, where he will come face-to-face with club captain Paul Gallen who is a member of the NRL All Stars side.
The match is a CBus Stadium on the Gold Coast this Friday.
For more, see the Sharks website article on David’s late call up to the Indigenous squad – CLICK HERE
Sharks blitz the local schools
The Sharks began their Community Carnival blitz today when they visited more than 20 local schools and engaged with over 6,000 students in presenting a half-hour session involving an educational-type presentation on WELLBEING.
The Sharks players also delivered key healthy living messages relating to Physical Activity, Nutrition and Mental Wellness.
They were set to finish their day with a Come and Try Clinic at Waratah Oval at Sutherland, an event aimed at introducing the sport to those youngsters who may not have previously played junior league.
Tomorrow, a handful of the Sharks NRL squad members will be in Taree and Forster in continuing to spread the NRL’s healthy living messages to schools in the region.
Sharks in the news
Rugby League news is now beginning to filter back into the mainstream sporting media, with the trial matches played over the weekend gaining strong coverage in the Sydney newspapers.
The Sharks trial against Manly was covered by both the Telegraph and Herald, see what their take was on the performance of the Cronulla side on the night,.
Trial game – Daily Telegraph – CLICK HERE
Trial game – NRL.COM – CLICK HERE
While prior to the game being played, in a preview article appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, Jeff Robson spoke confidently about how he thinks his halves partner Ben Barba will perform in 2015.
Barba will fire – Robson – Sydney Morning Herald CLICK HERE
And finally, in a Fantasy Football update from NRL.COM, see what their experts think may have changed after the first round of trials last weekend.
Fantasy football update – CLICK HERE
Sharks dates to remember
We don’t want you to forget about a number of upcoming Sharks events.
See a few dates below, so put them in the diary and if you are not already, become a Sharks member today and show your support in 2015.
Monday, February 16 – Community Forum 1 – Sharkies Leagues Club – 7.00pm - more info - CLICK HERE
Saturday, February 21 – Trial match v Wests Tigers, Campbelltown Stadium
February 22 – Season Launch and Fan Day – Remondis Stadium – for more info - CLICK HERE
Monday, February 25 – Community Forum 2 – Club Menai – 7.00pm - more info - CLICK HERE
Sunday, March 8 – NRL Round 1 – Sharks v Raiders, Remondis Stadium – kick off 6.30pm