Just two weeks after going down to the Sea Eagles in a deferred NYC match played on the Saturday of the rep weekend, the Sharks have a chance for some quick revenge.
With an opportunity to move into second position on the NYC ladder with a victory, up against a Sea Eagles side who were without a win, the Sharks slipped to a disappointing loss in a game played at Brookvale Oval.
The loss was obviously a jolt to the confidence of the young Sharks and with a second consecutive defeat, this time to the Newcastle Knights last weekend at Hunter Stadium, the return bout with Manly has taken on extra significance.
Now seventh, a win over a Sea Eagles team still languishing at the bottom of the NRL ladder becomes imperative should the Sharks hope to keep pace with the leading contenders.
While they will go into the contest as warm favourites, the most recent form suggests the Sharks won’t have it all their own way against an improving Manly outfit.
The final score line of 32-22 may point to a convincing Broncos win in Manly’s most recent encounter, however the fact that they stormed home in a strong second half performance indicates their form is on the rise.
Errors, a disappointing kicking game and some ill-discipline has cruelled the Sharks chances in their last two matches, with coach John Morris certain to be looking for improvement in all those areas this time around.
If they hope to be successful the Sharks will also need solid contributions from the forward pack, with Tony Matautia moving into the starting side alongside experienced types such as Jaimin Jolliffe,, Ash Nisbet and Jayden McDonough.
Out wide Will Kennedy and Lachlan Stein were two who could hold their heads up after playing strongly in the Newcastle loss, with the Sharks fullback and centre again crucial to their teams’ chances on Saturday night.
The Sharks v Manly NYC match is scheduled to get underway at 5.15pm at Southern Cross Group Stadium in front of what should be a bumper crowd.
Gates to the stadium open at 5.00pm.