An exciting Saturday of junior rugby league is looming with the Sharks represented in all three of the respective competitions with week one of the finals getting underway.

The Sharks SG Ball, Matthews Cup and Tarsha Gale Cup teams all qualified in the top two and are set to play in Qualifying finals at Leichhardt Oval this weekend.

The Ball Sharks finished as minor premiers after a last start victory over the Western Sydney Academy of Sport, the under 16 Matthews Cup side were second after defeating the same opponent last Saturday, while the Tarsha Gale girls enter the finals also as the number two seed following a narrow win over the Penrith Panthers in their last regular season game.

All three teams will be in action at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday, with the Tarsha Gale Cup squad getting the day underway with a game against the Illawarra Steelers.

See following the complete finals schedule for week one, Sharks team lists, brief match previews and links to the highlights from the three round nine victories.

 

SG Ball
The SG Ball boys did enough in a 32-16 win over WSAS to lock down the minor premiership and therefore a double shot in the finals series, however they face a big challenge first up with a game against the Penrith Panthers, the only team to beat them in the nine round regular season.

The Sharks finished the SG Ball season with seven wins and the one blemish, a 24-18 defeat at the hands of the Panthers in a match that was played at the Sharks Academy Fields in round eight, with Dave Howlett’s side keen to reverse the result on Saturday.

With a team featuring a number of attacking weapons, Howlett will be leaning on the ability and experience of the likes of Jaeman Salmon, Luke Metcalf and centre Bronson Xerri, with all three included in the NSW Pathways under-18’s squad alongside prop James Roumanos, however his forwards will need to match the physical Panthers pack if they hope to come away with a win.

Metcalf and Salmon both scored nine tries during the season to sit equal third on the SG Ball list, with halfback Metcalf the competition’s leading point-scorer with 110 from the eight games played.

The SG Ball match is set down to start at 12.30pm at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.

SG Ball Team List – Finals Week 1
Sharks v Panthers
Saturday, April 15
Leichhardt Oval
Kick-off - 12:30pm

1 Dylan SMITH
2 Jonaiah LUALUA
3 Bronson XERRI
4 Ronaldo MULITALO
5 jensen Taumoepeau
6 Jaeman SALMON
7 Luke METCALF
8 Fine KULA
9 Isaac LONGMUIR
10 James ROUMANOS
11 Teig WILTON
12 Tom CAUGHLAN
13 Monty RAPER
Interchange
14 Harrison Smith
15 Kai BROADHURST
16 Rhys WARD
17 Franklin PELE
18 Jack GOULD
19 Jackson STEWART

 

Matthews Cup
Two strong wins to finish their season, a 38-12 triumph over Penrith, followed by a 36-4 victory against WSAS has the Matthews Cup Sharks in-form and quietly confident ahead of their week one finals showdown with the Parramatta Eels on Saturday.

Like their SG Ball counterparts, the Matthews Cup Sharks are drawn to face the only team to lower their colours in 2017, with the Eels inflicting the one and only defeat on the under-16 Cronulla side with a 36-18 win back in round seven.

In that previous clash the Sharks were well and truly in the contest against the Eels despite the score line perhaps indicating otherwise, with better attention to detail and improved discipline and handling to go a long way towards helping them reverse the previous result.

The young Sharks have a potent backline, with the likes of centre Douglas Levi and winger Eliah Veikoso amongst those managing to capitalise on the groundwork laid by the forwards and halves in many of their wins this season.

Levi has scored eight tries so far this season, while Veikoso dashed away for a long-range four pointer last weekend after crossing for two similar tries in the win over the Panthers the week prior.

For the Sharks Kyle Pickering, Isaac Massima, Douglas Levi, Tom De Meio and Damon Smith have all been rewarded for their consistent seasons with selection in the NSW Under 16’s Pathways squad, with a team to play Queensland to be named following the Grand Final.  

The Matthews Cup clash between the Sharks and Eels is scheduled to kick-off at 11.00am at Leichhardt Oval

Matthews Cup Team List – Finals Week 1
Sharks v Eels
Saturday, April 15
Leichhardt Oval
Kick-off – 11:00am

1 Zachary ISSA
2 Trevor TAUFA
3 Douglas LEVI
4 Elliott MOAGA
5 Eliah VEIKOSO
6 Kyle PICKERING
7 Thomas DEMEIO
8 Isaac MASIMA
9 Jared DOMAZETOVSKI
10 Alec BRENNAN
11 Rhys DAKIN
12 Kai PARKER
13 Damon SMITH
Interchange
14 Zane JEGERS
15 Laken CALDWELL
16 Joseph TUAGALU
18 Billy BURKE
19 Moses LOLOHEA
20 Dylan FALESITA

 

Tarsha Gale
If any of the three teams were under pressure heading into the last week of the regular season it was the Tarsha Gale Cup squad, with the Sharks girls responding in style.

Sitting second but playing a Penrith team looking to force their way into the top four and to therefore be afforded a second chance in the competition finals, the Sharks girls held off the challenge of the Panthers to register a narrow yet very important 24-22 win.

The victory saw the Sharks nail down second spot, setting up a showdown with the third-placed Illawarra Steelers in a week one finals clash.

The two teams met once in 2017, with the Steelers coming out on top 30-26 in a game played at Southern Cross Group Stadium back in round five.

Plenty has happened to both teams since that last encounter, with the Sharks girls keen to turn the table and move through to within one game of the Tarsha Gale Grand Final.

For the Sharks Akira Kelly has been in outstanding attacking form of late, scoring five tries in her previous two matches, while skipper Tayla Preston is the Tarsha Gale Cup’s leading try scorer with 12 on the year.

The Tarsha Gale preliminary final kicks off a big day at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday with the match against the Steelers getting underway at 10.00am.

Tarsha Gale Cup Team List – Finals Week 1
Sharks v Illawarra Steelers
Saturday, April 15
Leichhardt Oval
Kick-off – 10:00am

4 Elly HAZELTON
3 Olivia QUINN
17 Alilia VEIKOSO
6 (c) Tayla PRESTON
1 Akira KELLY
7 Quincy DODD
9 Mackenzie BEAMES
13 Sophie BULLER
10 Kersal JOHNSON
Interchange
5 Amy-Lee CURMI
8 Talei Holmes
11 Marlee LUSIO
15 Hannah MELCHIORSEN
18 Temukisa IOANE
19 Ariel NGATOKORUA

 

NSWRL Junior Representative and Tarsha Gale Cup
Finals Schedules – Week 1

Tarsha Gale Cup
Penrith Panthers v Sydney Indigenous Academy (Elimination Final)
North Sydney Oval, Thursday 13 April
5:15pm

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels (Qualifying Final)
Belmore Sportsground, Saturday 15 April
10am

Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs (Elimination Final)
Belmore Sportsground, Saturday 15 April
11am

Cronulla Sharks v Illawarra Steelers (Qualifying Final)
Leichhardt Oval, Saturday 15 April
10am


Harold Matthews Cup
Manly Sea Eagles v Central Coast Roosters (Elimination Final)

Hammondville Oval, Saturday 15 April
10:30am

Cronulla Sharks v Parramatta Eels (Qualifying Final)
Leichhardt Oval, Saturday 15 April
11am

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canberra Raiders (Elimination Final)
Belmore Sportsground, Saturday 15 April
12:15pm

Newcastle Knights v Illawarra Steelers (Qualifying Final)
Hammondville Oval, Saturday 15 April
12pm


SG Ball Cup 
Cronulla Sharks
v Penrith Panthers (Qualifying Final)
Leichhardt Oval, Saturday 15 April
12:30pm

Sydney Roosters v Balmain Tigers (Elimination Final)
Belmore Sportsground, Saturday 15 April
2pm

Western Suburbs Magpies v Illawarra Steelers (Elimination Final)
Hammondville Oval, Saturday 15 April
1:30pm

Parramatta Eels v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (Qualifying Final)
Leichhardt Oval, Saturday 15 April
2pm