By Daniel Gray
THE YOUNG CENTRES-
Ricky Leutele and Euan Aitken
Sharks centre Ricky Leutele will be marking young St George Illawarra centre Euan Aitken come 4pm this Sunday at Remondis Stadium. For Aitken this will only be his second taste of this well-known local derby and his first on enemy soil.
As for Leutele this match is ever so important from both an attacking and defensive point of view, with his ability to link up with players like Wade Graham inside of him and Sosaia Feki on the outside to prove vital if the Sharks are to score some points on the left edge.
But from a defensive point of view, Leutele will need to keep on his toes when Benji Marshall plays his hand on the right edge attack while using Aitken as his weapon.
The five year age gap between the 25-year-old Leutele and the 20-year-old Aitken shouldn’t make a difference on the overall performance, it will boil down to their ability to join forces with their supporting players?
Michael Ennis and Mitch Rein
Michael Ennis will back up for the Sharks this weekend after playing for NSW on Wednesday night and despite the Blue’s big loss, Ennis will run out on Remondis Stadium with a point to prove when he takes on his opposite number in Mitch Rein.
The young Dragons hooker has been in career best form this season, with the recent talk that he was even looming as a possibility of making his Origin debut after Robbie Farah injured his shoulder in Game 1 of the series. Rein has the highest average tackle count in the Dragons side with 33 and is ranked 15th in the NRL overall.
Ennis should run out on the field this weekend knowing he has full support from his teammates, Andrew Fifita going to great lengths to say that he is the best hooker he has ever played with and his professionalism is second to none.
This matchup is a big one, as both players have the ability to influence their team’s fate this Sunday afternoon.
Luke Lewis and Will Matthews
This Sunday Luke Lewis will reach his milestone 250th match, with the former Panthers junior to have the entire Sharks fan force behind him when he lines up against the Dragons and their no-nonsense back rower Will Matthews.
After playing eight games this season, Matthews and his teammates will be looking to turn around their form after their fourth straight loss when they arrive to a fired up crowd at Remondis Stadium.
The corresponding match on a Sunday back in round 12 proved to be a very one-sided affair. Despite this Lewis and Matthews did come together during that match with Lewis putting one dominating tackle on Matthews which drove him back towards the Dragons try line.
Sharks fans should come out in full force and support Lewis and the team when they face the Dragons this Sunday in the final installment for the 2015 Monty Porter Cup.
Sunday's match against the St George Illawarra Dragons is proudly brought to you by match day sponsor Southern Radiology.