A win over perennial contenders in the Panthers in the last round, after putting 54 points on the Magpies the week before, wasn't enough for the SG Ball Sharks to qualify for the competition finals in 2021.
The Sharks finished eighth, falling short of the top six and a Finals appearance, however despite their disappointment, a number of quality players emerged.
Kade Dykes was amongst the leading try scorers in the under-19 competition, halfback Ryan Rivett showed glimpses of his immense talent, while hooker Kobie Wilson and back rower Jed Hardy were two of the bottom age boys to hold their own and perform strongly throughout the year.
However despite the performances of those mentioned above, there were two standout performers to impress coach George Ndaira and take home the SG Ball player awards for 2021.
Without the ability to conduct a presentation event due to the Covid situation and with the pre-season training for junior representative rugby league scheduled to begin in November, the Sharks can now announce the SG Ball award winners from the 2021 junior rep season.
SG Ball Player of the year - Sam Stonestreet
In winger Sam Stonestreet the Sharks have a potential NRL player of the future, with the local product from the De La Salle Caringbah Club playing every match in finishing the 2021 season with team high’s in run metres and carries per game.
For Ndaira, his player of the year became a standout choice, due to his selfless play and drive to contribute to the team performance each and every week.
“Sam's success this year was a clear reflection of the effort and passion he took onto the field,” Ndaira said.
“This was able to be seen by Sam often taking the first carry of our set and then staying pushed up around the ball to support his teammates.
“His success this season was not an accident. It was the result of his high attention to detail, effort and skilful execution. These traits led to Sam improving every game, then earning the eventual call up to train and play with the Jersey Flegg team,” Ndaira added.
SG Ball Coaches award – Blake Hosking
Lock Blake Hosking may not have been one of the biggest forwards in the under-19’s competition, but he was certainly one of the hardest working and committed.
With a flawless defensive technique and high work rate, Hosking, from the Engadine Dragons, led the way in earning the respect of his teammates and coach for his efforts throughout the year.
“Blake is a leader in any team he plays in and he stood out this season by the nature of his commitment,” Ndaira said.
“He came up with plenty of big plays throughout the season but never rested on his or the team’s performance, always looking for ways to improve.
“This drive for improvement ultimately led to Blake training and playing with the Jersey Flegg team once the SG Ball season had finished. The sky is the limit for Blake and I have no doubt success will follow him while he continues to exhibit these values.”