A disastrous start, one which saw then trial 18-0 just 20 minutes into the contest, meant the Sharks would head to Gosford for a round 17 clash with the Roosters under plenty of pressure after their loss to the Sea Eagles the previous weekend.
The Sharks battled back in the game against Manly however the Sea Eagles would go on with the job, leaving the defending premiers desperate for a win on the Central Coast after slipping to fifth position on the NRL ladder.
The challenge for the Sharks was to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get up for a crucial match up with a fellow finals aspirant.
“We’ve had a rough couple of weeks, dropped out of the top four, but we want to get our season back on track,” Sharks star Jack Bird offered in the lead up to the game. “The first 20 minutes, that’s not like us, we’re one of the best defensive teams.
“We’ve gone away this week and we’ll try to fix it.”
The slow starts had unfortunately become a pattern, with Wade Graham another not shying away from the issue, admitting the team needed to make some improvements in that vital area.
“We were disappointed after the game. Again we started slow, made it hard for ourselves and this time couldn’t claw it back,” Graham said.
“We’ve spoken about it, tried to address it but haven’t got it right so far. We’re tinkering and hopefully we can get it right this week and in the big games ahead.”
The Sharks headed into the game needing considerable improvement against a Roosters team that has quietly slipped into second position on the NRL ladder on the back of an extra time win over the Storm at their most recent start.
It was a victory that has them just two points from the competition lead and two ahead of the Sharks.
“They play a great style, great to watch and very hard to defend against because they have so many options. So it will be a big test for us but I’m looking forward to it,” Graham said.
There was a perception of doom and gloom at the Sharks, but the reality was far from it, with the team, fit and healthy and eagerly anticipating the challenge the Roosters were set to provide.
The Sharks entered the game on a five-game win streak in matches against the Tricolours, dating back to 2014, giving them every reason to believe they could turn the tables, stave off a second consecutive defeat and continue their push for a top four berth.
The Sharks would field five Origin players in their line up, four from the NSW side and Queenslander Valentine Holmes, while the only significant change from the team beaten by Manly being the inclusion of Fa’amanu Brown at hooker in place of the injured Jayden Brailey.
Brailey broke his jaw in the loss to Manly.
The game kicked off at 3.00pm on Saturday afternoon at the Central Coast Stadium.
See the full match replay via the Sharks website, 7.30pm on Saturday night to coincide with when the Sharks were scheduled to play the Roosters in round five of the 2020 season.
NRL Team List – Round 17
Sharks v Roosters
Saturday, July 1
Central Coast Stadium
Kick-off – 3.00pm
1 - Valentine Holmes
2 - Sosaia Feki
3 - Jack Bird
4 - Ricky Leutele
5 - Gerard Beale
6 - James Maloney
7 - Chad Townsend
8 - Andrew Fifita
9 - Fa’amanu Brown
10 - Matt Prior
11 - Luke Lewis
12 - Wade Graham
13 - Paul Gallen
14 - Jayson Bukuya
15 - Chris Heighington
16 - Kurt Capewell
17 - Joseph Paulo
18 - Sam Tagataese
19 - Jeremy Latimore
Tale of the tape
Head to head
Roosters 56 wins
At Central Coast Stadium
First meeting at the ground
Past 8 clashes
Sharks 6 wins
Sharks 48 – Roosters 14, Caltex Field, 1991
Roosters 44 – Sharks 0, Allianz Stadium, 2013