So far, so good for the NYC Sharks who after 11 rounds of the 2017 competition are sitting on top of the Holden Cup ladder, tied with the Penrith Panthers but in front due to a superior for-and-against.

It has been a season where John Morris’s boys have played some outstanding football in patches, well enough to win some games when not at their best, with just two losses, to the Eels and Broncos, the only negatives in what can only be described as an outstanding start to their year.

But as the NYC front runners the young Sharks go from the hunters to the hunted, with teams set to lift each week in a bid to claim a high profile scalp and that challenge for the Cronulla side it set to start this week with the Bulldogs.

Despite sitting in 13th position the Bulldogs have shown enough to indicate on their day they have the ability to match it with the best teams in the 20’s competition, with the Sharks needing to ready on Saturday night.  

Missing for the Sharks will be lock Billy Magoulias, a mainstay in the forwards, as well as rangy outside back Isaac Lumelume, with the pair called into the NSW Under 20’s team for the Interstate clash with Queensland next Wednesday.

In their place however Morris has found some capable replacements, with Ryan King switching from font row where he has spent the past couple of weeks to Magoulias’s lock position, while Clayton Uia slots in for Lumelume. Eddie Faalua moves into the starting team in the front row.

Uia played a number of games in the Sharks backline earlier in the season.

While those two have big shoes to fill the Sharks have bene well-served by the likes of Sione Katoa, with the winger leading the entire NYC competition on tackle breaks, Kiwi forward Briton Nikora and his edge backrow partner Tony Matautia.

However all that being said, the performance of the Sharks ‘spine’, with halves Kyle Flanagan and Jack Williams, along with fullback Will Kennedy and hooker Blayke Brailey, having a big influence on their results so far this season.

The Sharks head into the game on the back of four straight wins, following on from a round seven draw with the Panthers, with their last loss back in round four against the Eels.

The Sharks v Bulldogs NYC match is scheduled for a 5.15pm kick off at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Gates open at 5.00pm.

For the Sharks 20-man team list, see below, with Morris to trim down his squad to the final 17-man side one hour prior to kick-off.

NYC Team List – Round 12
Sharks v Bulldogs
Saturday, May 27
Southern Cross Group Stadium
Kick-off – 5.15pm

1 William KENNEDY
2 Sione KATOA
3 Clayton UIA
4 Bessie AUFAGA-TOOMAGA
5 Johnathan TUFUGA
6 Jack WILLIAMS ©
7 Kyle FLANAGAN
8 Eddie FAALUA
9 Blayke BRAILEY
10 Brock ILETT
11 Briton NIKORA
12 Tony MATAUTIA
13 Ryan KING
Interchange
14 Zachary FAULKNER
15 Kalani PEWHAIRANGI-CHARLIE
16 Joshua Tuilagi
17 Joshua CARR
18 Lane FERLING
21 Luke Jurd
23 Jaemon SALMON