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Junior reps preview | Round 2

Having begun their seasons with a bang, our young Sharks are aiming to electrify the Eels at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday.

Three of the club's four junior representative teams scored impressive first-up wins over the Tigers, with the Lisa Fiaola Cup side narrowly going down.

Here's what the coaches are keen to see in the round-two fixtures.

CLICK HERE for team lists and match details.

Harold Matthews Cup

Pleasingly for coach Brad Kelly, the under-17 Sharks boys defended stoutly and only conceded a late close-range try in a 32-6 win over Balmain.

The forwards charged hard and seized the ascendancy in a statement performance.

However, as they prepare to face a Parramatta side that ran rampant in a 34-6 victory over the Warriors, Kelly is determined to keep up the intensity.

"We did a better job at putting (the Tigers) under pressure and making them come off their end of the field, but at other times we let them off with penalties," he said.

"I thought we were fortunate with them making errors and letting us off the hook a couple of times ... Definitely some areas to improve on before we go into round two."

The Eels shape as an early litmus test, with the blue-and-gold army retaining a couple of forwards that helped them go within a game of last year's grand final.

SG Ball Cup

While the under-19 Sharks men caught fire as they scored seven unanswered tries in a come-from-behind 44-18 win over the Tigers - including a hat-trick to NRL squad member Michael Gabrael - coach Dave Howlett wasn't entirely satisfied.

And with 2023 premiers Parramatta waiting for them on Saturday, Cronulla can't afford another slow start after recovering from 18-4 down in round one.

"We hurt ourselves with the way we handled the footy in the first half (against Balmain). Defence is really important to us and I thought we missed the mark in the first 35 minutes with that," Howlett said.

"SG Ball is a super-strong competition and there are no easy games."

The Eels began their title defence by trumping the Warriors 32-20.

Lisa Fiaola Cup

Coach Robbie Taylor outlined a clear focus for training after the under-17 Sharks girls shot themselves in the foot with errors in a 20-18 loss to Wests Tigers.

Now up against a Parramatta outfit that was soundly beaten by the Bulldogs, Taylor wants his team to respect the ball and defend with more line speed. The squad also continued to refine their structures during the week.

"These are things that we can definitely work on," Taylor said.

"Even through the trials, we'd make a mistake and the opposition would capitalise on it. We need to start cleaning up our mistakes and I think we can go a long way.

"Tigers are one of the bigger sides and one of the better sides, so it definitely gives us confidence going into round two. We've improved a lot and we continue to improve, so that's all we can ask for. Here we come, round two!"

Tarsha Gale Cup

After prevailing 22-18 in a see-sawing clash with Wests Tigers, Sharks coach Isaac Michael knows winning the battle up front is the key moving forward.

The under-19 women are out to dominate in the forwards against the Eels, who conceded six tries in a 32-4 defeat to the Bulldogs last week.

"It's about that physicality in the middle and making sure your marker 'D' (defence) is constantly on," Michael said when asked what his side have learned.

"Especially with (other) teams, the middles they have, it's a big competition, a lot of size there, so that's where the battle ground is going to be each week.

"It's a great squad, lots of depth. You can pick anyone and play them in any position ... They're fit girls as well, so they can just go all day."

Lead image and quotes courtesy of Steve Montgomery from

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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