The Sharks will look to build on their spirited victory over the Melbourne Storm when they travel to Brisbane to take on the Gold Coast Titans tomorrow night.
In a match that will open the NRL’s Magic round, where all eight round nine fixtures will be held at Suncorp Stadium, the Sharks second visit to Brisbane in the space of two weeks sees a Cronulla side high on confidence but still down on experienced personnel, take on a Titans outfit desperate for a win to climb off the bottom of the competition table.
With youngster Kyle Flanagan steering the ship alongside halves partner Chad Townsend, the Sharks turned in what according to coach John Morris was close to his teams most complete performance of the 2019 season so far.
No doubt he is hoping for more of the same when his team faces the Titans at Suncorp on Thursday night.
“It’s about getting some consistency in our season. It’s about backing up our performances and getting some consistency,” Morris said.
As for the Gold Coast, Morris is fully aware that despite their position on the ladder, they will present a formidable challenge.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for their club, they’ve got a really good side, four State of Origin players, international players and they gave us a good game last time. We shot out to a 20-0 lead and they beat us in the second half.
“I admire the way they competed last week, they lost three players and were only down by two points with 12 minutes to go against the Cowboys. We’re well aware of the quality of their team and they’ll be desperate to get a win.”
While they won’t be playing the Titans on their home turf, the Sharks have a reasonable record of late in matches played north of the NSW border against the Gold Coast, having won three and drawn one of their last five encounters.
The Sharks do however have a less than stellar record in games played at Suncorp, having won just five of 19 at the venue, although the Titans haven’t fared much better, winning only five times in 21 games and three of eight in matches against opposition other than the Brisbane Broncos.
At their most recent meeting, in a game played at PointsBet Stadium back in round two, the Sharks emerged victorious in winning by xx-xx.
Although while their respective positions on the ladder and head to head results of late points to the Sharks, the fact that eight of the past 10 clashes between the teams have been decided by six points or less, gives every indication of what could be a close fought and thrilling encounter.
The Sharks v Titans is scheduled for a 7.50pm kick off at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night, with the Sharks 19-man squad listed below.
Young fullback Will Kennedy and lock Billy Magoulias have been omitted from 21 as named on Tuesday.
NRL Team List – Round 9
Sharks v Titans
Thursday, May 9
Kick-off – 7.50pm
1. Josh Dugan
2. Sosaia Feki
3. Bronson Xerri
4. Josh Morris
5. Aaron Gray
6. Kyle Flanagan
7. Chad Townsend
8. Andrew Fifita
9. Jayden Brailey
10. Matt Prior
11. Briton Nikora
12. Kurt Capewell
13. Paul Gallen (c)
14. Blayke Brailey
15. Jayson Bukuya
16. Jack Williams
17. Braden Hamlin-Uele
18. Scott Sorenson
19. Sione Katoa