Sharks look to cap home season with a win
Returning to Southern Cross Group Stadium after two weeks on the road, the Sharks will be out to reverse a recent run of losses when hosting the Roosters on Saturday night.
Playing in front of what promises to be a booming Home crowd – with the added motivation of sending hooker Michael Ennis out a winner – Sharks coach Shane Flanagan is expecting an inspired showing against the tri-colours.
“We’ve really enjoyed our season (at home) this year, we’ve only lost one game, and we want to finish that off on a good note,” Flanagan said.
Sitting pretty with 10 wins from as many starts at home prior to the team’s Round 22 clash against the Raiders, the Sharks head in to Saturday’s match with the chance to equal a long-standing Club record.
Not since 1999 have the Sharks won 11 home games in a single season, and Flanagan was not only hopeful, but confident, his men could do the same with a win over the Roosters.
Speaking with the media earlier in the week, Sharks forward Andrew Fifita echoed Flanagan’s sentiments, saying he and the playing squad will be buoyed by the return to their own backyard.
"We always lift when we're at home, we've lost one game here all season, we're really excited to be back here on the weekend," Fifita said on Wednesday.
"(Confidence) is still there ... hopefully we have got the losses out of the way heading into the right end of the season.
"If you said we'd be second-placed at this time of the season, I think most would probably take it on the chin and say 'thank you'.
"We're in a good space at the moment, as long as we can get this win on the weekend."
In team news, Flanagan confirmed Captain Paul Gallen a certain starter against the Roosters, having now overcome a calf complaint that saw him sidelined in the side’s last two matches.
“Gal’s good, he’s 100%,” the Coach said.
“He’ll be a big bonus for us, I’m really looking forward to his contribution.”
Player in Focus: Michael Ennis
Fan-favourite Michael Ennis will say his goodbyes to the Sharks faithful, after a two-year stint at the Club.
In his time at the Sharks, Ennis has changed the style of the team’s play, and added a competitive edge that only he could have.
Playing 21 games this season – averaging an impressive 33 tackles per game – Ennis has had a hand in 10 tries, having also crossed for two of his own.
Head-to-Head: Played 90, Shark 32, Sydney Roosters 56, Drawn 2
At Southern Cross Group Stadium: Played 43, Sydney Roosters 24, Sharks 17, Drawn 2
Last 5 Meetings:
Round 19, 2016: Sharks 32 def. Roosters 20 @ Allianz Stadium
Round 13, 2015: Sharks 10 def. Roosters 4 @ Remondis Stadium
Round 5, 2015: Sharks 20 def. Roosters 12 @ Remondis Stadium
Round , 2014: Sharks 30 def. Roosters 28 @ Allianz Stadium
Round , 2014: Roosters 24 def. Sharks 18 @ Remondis Stadium
HTH: Sharks ($1.57) v Roosters ($2.45)
Line: Sharks -10.5 ($1.92), Souths +10.5 ($1.92)
First try scorer: Valentine Holmes ($8), Sosaia Feki ($10), Daniel Tupou ($10), Ben Barba ($11), Latrell Mitchell ($11).
*Prices quoted 14:00pm Friday, August 26. For the latest odds and more markets on the match, click here.