SG Ball Grand Final Preview
Following an emphatic second half display in their preliminary final match against Illawarra last weekend the Sharks now face the Parramatta Eels in the SG Ball Grand Final.
In a game matching the two most dominant teams in the 2017 SG Ball competition, the Sharks will be looking to capture their second under-18’s title in two years after claiming victory back in 2015.
The Sharks finished as minor premiers after the regular season, the Eels in second, with the two teams losing just once during the nine-round competition.
Since that time the Sharks and Eels have continued on their winning ways, the Sharks beating the Panthers, then Steelers last weekend, to progress to the Grand Final, the Eels crushing the Bulldogs 52-12 in week one of the finals before seeing off the challenge of the Roosters by 32-12 in their preliminary final victory.
The two teams haven’t met so far in 2017, setting up an intriguing clash at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.
As good a side as the Eels might be, the Sharks have every right to go into the contest confident of success, even more so following a second half last week which produced six tries and 32 points.
Down by 14-6 early in the second period the Sharks ran rampant in the final 30-minutes, the left-hand side of their attack particularly potent against a Steelers outfit which had no answer.
The Sharks team possesses an abundance of talented young players, although their success this season has been built on all 17 contributing in each game.
However as good as this Sharks team might be, standing in their way will be Parramatta, the club which has been the most successful in the 52-year history of the SG Ball competition, winning the premiership 11 times.
Sharks coach Dave Howlett has named a team with just one change, that being the return of Fine Kula after the Sharks prop missed the Illawarra match through injury.
With a whole squad in good form, Howlett will need to make some tough decisions as to the make-up of his final 17, with 20 players named as of Tuesday’s team announcement.
The Sharks v Eels SG Ball Grand Final is scheduled to get underway at 2.00pm at Leichhardt Oval.
For those who can’t make it to the game, stay tuned to the NSWRL website for details as to a possible live streaming of the match.
SG Ball Team List – Grand Final
Sharks v Eels
Saturday, May 6
Kick-off – 2.00pm
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
14 Harrison Smith
15 Kai Broadhurst
16 Rhys Ward
17 Franklin Pele
18 Jack Gould
19 Jackson Stewart
20 Harrison Demeio
Highlights – Preliminary Final – CLICK HERE (Sharks highlights 1min15secs into video)