The NYC Sharks take on a difficult challenge this weekend when they face one of the perennial Holden Cup competition heavyweights in the New Zealand Warriors.
As in years past the Warriors again boast a physically imposing playing roster, with the Sharks needing to bring their A-Game to Remondis Stadium against a team arriving in town with an impressive 6-win-2-loss record thus far in 2015.
After a week off due to the rep round the Sharks head into the match on the back of a disappointing loss to the Penrith Panthers, however despite their lowly position on the NYC ladder, the young Cronulla side have shown more than enough encouraging signs to indicate they can make a game of it on Saturday afternoon.
Despite just two wins from their eight games the Sharks have been competitive in almost all their six losses, doing more than enough on at least three occasions to record victories, only for luck, a bounce of the ball and errors at inopportune times costing them dearly in the final few minutes of the matches.
Sharks coach James Shepherd has stuck solid with the team that while going down to Penrith fught bravely until the full time whistle.
Fullback Ryan Cummins in his three appearances in the 20’s competition has impressed, with strong running wingers Levy Sopi and Semisi Vea having their moments in recent weeks and again needing to take their team forward on kick returns and early in the tackle count to take some pressure off the Sharks forward pack.
Five eighth Jamayne Isaako returns to the Sharks team after representing the Junior Kiwis in their Test Match against the Junior Kangaroos last weekend, with hard working lock Harrison Muller back on deck after missing the Panthers match with injury.
Key for the Warriors could be the performance of their gun five eighth Ma’afoaeata Hingano who will control proceedings should their forward pack manage to dominate.
The Sharks v Warriors NYC match is scheduled for a 3.15pm kick-off at Remondis Stadium, with gates to open at 3.00pm.
For those Sharks fans arriving at the stadium early, the Junior rep Grand Finals, featuring the Sharks in both the Matthews Cup and SG Ball deciders, will be shown live in the Locker Room Sports Bar in Sharkies Leagues Club beginning at 11.00am.