In what will be a history making occasion for the Cronulla club, the Matthews Cup and SG Ball junior representative teams will contest Grand Finals on Saturday.

It is to be the first time the two young Sharks teams have qualified for the competition deciding matches in the same season, both scored stirring victories in matches played at St Marys Leagues Stadium last weekend.

The under-16 Matthews Cup Sharks recorded a convincing 38-18 win over the Bulldogs to set up a Grand Final match with the Parramatta Eels, while in the SG Ball the under-18 Sharks beat Penrith and now play Souths.

In matches played earlier in the season the Matthews Sharks were beaten 22-10 by the Eels in round two, while the Ball Sharks scored a 20-8 win over Souths in the final round robin game of the season, a victory that saw them sneak into the finals in eighth place.

As Sharks NRL coach Shane Flanagan explained, the achievement of having two teams in respective Grand Finals hasn’t come overnight.

“It’s been a long process, probably six or seven years in the making with our Academy and junior rep programs,” Flanagan said. “Over that time we’ve changed it a few times, added to it, brought John Morris in with his NRL experience and run SG Ball and Matts Cup academy training squads. Then this year we set up an Academy training base at Cronulla High.

“But in saying all that we know it’s not perfect, but both teams have worked hard, we’ve been working really hard on our development program, just the same as the whole club has been working hard from an NRL level down.”

As for their teams this week, the Sharks have announced their squad lists and as expected coaches Dave Howlett and Glenn Brailey have made very few changes.

Other than the bumps and bruises from physical finals encounters last weekend, both sides came through relatively unscathed and will be fit and ready for the big games that await.

The matches will be contested at Leichhardt Oval, with the Matthews Cup kicking off at 11.00am, the SG Ball at 1.00pm.

Both games will be shown on the Fox Sports network at a later date, with the Sharks to pass on telecast information when it becomes available.

 

Matthews Cup Grand Final – Team List
Sharks v Eels
Saturday, May 9
Leichhardt Oval
Kick-off – 11.00am

1.            Dylan Smith
2.            Bronson Xerri
3.            Semisi Kioa
4.            Jack Gould
5.            Julian Spanos
6.            Kai Broadhurst
7.            Luke Metcalf
8.            Fine Kula
9.            Tamati McCausland
10.          James Roumanos
11.          Jaeman Salmon
12.          Jay Shearman
13.          Lachlan Smith ©
Interchange
14. Pita Toamotu
15. Monty Raper
16. Trace Davidson
17. Rhys Ward
18. William Swann

Coach – Glenn Brailey

SG Ball Grand Final – Team List
Sharks v Souths
Saturday, May 9
Leichhardt Oval
Kick-off – 1.00pm

1              William Kennedy
2              Josh Tuilagi
3              Curtis Scott (C)
4              Keenan Yorston
5              Cameron Scott
6              Kyle Flanagan
7              Jack Williams
8              Daniel Vasquez
9              Blayke Brailey
10           Brock Ilett
11           Jesse Savage
12           Luis Strickland
13           Billy Magoulias
Interchange
14           Jaiden Brown
15           Reece Gair
16           Tony Matautia
17           Soakimi Tuitavuki
18           Justin Timu
19           Amo Lualua

Coach – Dave Howlett