The winless Sharks are yet to smile in 2014. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au
Sharks v Warriors
Saturday, April 5 - 14.05pm (AEST)
Things you need to know:
The Sharks run with the same 17 that was thrashed 30-0 by the Knights last weekend, although Beau Ryan could be a late replacement for Michael Gordon (knee). The Warriors' Jerome Ropati faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a broken jaw, so in comes Konrad Hurrell who was oh so impressive from the bench last weekend. Feleti Mateo replaces Ropati in the 17.
Reason to watch:
Even as early as five rounds into the competition, a loss for either side could seriously hamper their chances of making the eight. After indifferent starts, both sides will target this as a winnable game so expect an open contest. Also, fit-again Konrad Hurrell, who partners last week's four-try hero Glen Fisiiahi, is one worth keeping an eye on.
Reason to turn away:
Even Sharks coach Peter Sharp appears to have little faith in his charges at present and with the Andrew Fifita circus dominating the back pages, the Cronulla sheds are going to be a tough place to prepare for a first grade game.
"We're miles away at the moment, in a lot of departments. It's the NRL, you've got to win games no matter who's out, who's in or who's playing, or how you win or lose. You just have to win football games and we're not doing that at the moment," Peter Sharp gives a damning assessment of his side.
The Sharks' start to 2014 has been both unfortunate and unattractive. Nobody expected them to perform as poorly as they have so far and brighter days may be just around the bend – just not this week. The Warriors ran hot in Wellington last week. Big money Englishman Sam Tomkins is earning a reputation of a Jekyll & Hyde but if he can provide the same link he did between Shaun Johnson and the Warriors' forward-like outside backs last week, then they should have too much firepower for the home side. Warriors by 6
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