Following two wins in succession the NYC Sharks have every reason to feel confident about their chances when they host the Warriors at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Sitting fifth, the Sharks face a New Zealand team battling for consistency and currently languishing in 11th position, however while they might fancy their chances the young Cronulla side will be wary of the wounded Warrior, with the Kiwis perennial powerhouses in the under-20’s competition.
While the Sharks were clawing their way to a narrow 20-18 win over the Bulldogs last Saturday, the Warriors found some form in scoring a 40-20 win over the Roosters, in what was just their fifth win in 14 starts this season.
No doubt the Sharks will have studied their opponents carefully in the lead up, although Coach John Morris would be more concerned about his team getting their own house in order before worrying too much about what the Warriors might bring.
Last weekend in a patch display, the Sharks jumped out to a lead, were reeled in and passed by the Bulldogs, before a late try enabled them to escape with a victory and a valuable two points.
Playing at five eighth in the absence of Jack Williams, Billy Magoulias played a major role in the win, his two try assists going a long way towards getting his team over the line.
Likewise Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, normally in the centres but deputising for Will Kennedy at fullback, scored a first half double before kicking the final conversion in an impressive performance.
With Williams returning after suspension and Kennedy likely to play after missing the Bulldogs game with injury, Aufaga-Toomaga and Magoulias are expected to resume their normal roles within the Sharks team.
Should they hope to be successful however the Sharks will need strong efforts from their forwards against the big and physical Warrior pack.
The match shapes as a crucial one for the final chances of both teams, with a win to the Sharks set to propel them towards a top four finish, while the Warriors will be desperate for a victory to remain in contention for a top eight berth.
The Sharks v Warriors NYC match is scheduled to get underway at 3.15pm, with gates to Southern Cross Group Stadium to open at 3.00pm.