Last Sunday’s demolition by the Roosters may have been the largest margin of defeat and therefore the worst loss in the Sharks Holden Cup history, however the NYC Sharks have dusted themselves off, re-grouped and are determined to deliver a vastly improved performance against the Knights on Friday night.
The young Sharks were out-muscled and out-classed by the Roosters at Allianz Stadium, with coach James Shepherd reacting by making a number of changes to his beaten side in a bid to turn around their fortunes as quickly as possible.
Local De La Salle Caringbah product Ryan Cummins comes into the team for his NYC debut match at fullback, while the coach has also made positional changes in the backline, with Jamayne Isaako moving from the centres to five eighth, Jayden Brailey from hooker to half back and Monson Paewai from six to his regular spot at centre.
Tuli Leota has been added to the team as Paewai’s centre partner.
The Sharks opponents the Knights will also be looking to rebound from a disappointing loss, there’s coming at the hands of the St George-Illawarra Dragons.
The Knights conceded seven second half tries in going down by 46-36 after holding a handy half time lead.
Key for the Sharks could be their ability to control the Newcastle halves partnership of Jack Cogger and Brock Lamb, with the pair members of the Australian Schoolboys team in 2014.
Unfortunately the Sharks Australian Schoolboy half Connor Tracey won’t get to test himself against the Knights pairing as he begins what will be a long recovery after suffering a serious knee injuru just two weeks ago.
The Knights sit in sixth position on the NYC ladder after three wins from their opening five matches, while the Sharks will be intent on notching a win to climb off the bottom of the competition table.
The Sharks v Knights NYC clash is scheduled for a 5.20pm kick off at Remondis Stadium, with gates open at 5.00pm.