In what shapes as an important game for both clubs, the NYC Sharks travel to Newcastle looking to continue their improved run of form when they play the Knights on Sunday.
After a slow start to the season the young Sharks have strung together some solid performances and while hitting something of a speed hump in their loss to the Roosters in their most recent match, will certainly hope to claim two competition points as they push for a top eight berth.
Currently sitting in 11th position, two points outside the top eight and also two points behind their opponents this weekend in the Knights, the Sharks will be out to reverse an earlier loss to the Newcastle team earlier this season.
The Sharks went down by 22-18 to the young Knights in a match they certainly could have won and now they have the opportunity to extract some revenge in the return bout.
The Holden Cup Sharks will be strengthened by the inclusion of Jamayne Isaako, with the centre missing from the Roosters loss due to family issues back in New Zealand.
The Junior Kiwi international has now returned to the Sharks and will add some attacking potency out wide.
In the halves the partnership of Brad Deitz and Jaden Clarke have been improving weekly in their combinations, with Deitz new to the half back position and Clarke only recently back on deck after overcoming injury.
The Sharks six and seven will need to be on their game against the NSW Under 18’s half-five-eighth pairing of Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger.
Both played strongly in a losing effort for NSW on Wednesday night and will be keen to repeat that form on home soil this Sunday.
On the other side of the ledger, Sharks coach James Shepherd has named his NSW 18’s pair of Curtis Scott and Billy Magoulias on an extended interchange bench, with a decision as to the make-up of the final 17-man team to be made after the teams final training run today.
The Sharks v Knights NYC match is scheduled for an 11.45am kick-off on Sunday, with Fox Sports showing the game live for those fans not making the trip north to Hunter Stadium.