NYC Preview: Sharks v Roosters
An impressive fortnight has the NYC Sharks primed to make a move on the top four when they take on another of the finals contenders in the Sydney Roosters on Monday afternoon.
The young Sharks managed a convincing win over the second-placed Eels before playing out an exciting 34-all draw against the ladder-leading Panthers last Sunday in what were a couple of performances which have the Cronulla side travelling to Allianz Stadium tomorrow in a confident frame of mind.
Sitting sixth, one point behind the Roosters, this week’s game is again a crucial one in terms of the finals aspirations of both teams with the winner to gain a jump on their opponents as the season moves into the business end.
While looking to retain the team which has performed strongly over thr past two matches Coach John Morris has been forced into a positional reshuffle due to a one-week suspension being served by regular five eighth Jack Williams.
With the absence of Williams, Morris has decided to move Will Kennedy from fullback into the halves, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga to fullback, with new recruit Jessie Raimen named to play in the centres.
In his first game in Sharks colours last weekend Raimen was extremely impressive, running for more than 200 metres and crossing for a try in a strong debut effort.
Raimen also began training with the Sharks NRL squad this week after signing on for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
And in causing some selection headaches for Morris, two Sharks NYC squad members in Blake Brailey and Kyle Flanagan are back in the Shire after playing leading roles in the NSW CCC victory at the Australian Schoolboy Championships last week.
Brailey a hooker and the brother of NYC skipper and incumbent number nine Jayden, was later named in the Australian Schoolboys team to play the touring English Academy.
After a long week in Brisbane Brailey and Flanagan are likely to be held back to freshen up before being considered for games in the final seven rounds.
The Sharks and Roosters NYC clash is set to get underway at 4.45pm at Allianz Stadium on Monday night.