Photo: Action Photographics
As we enter the business end of the season the two points on offer this week for each team could be the difference between planning ‘Mad Monday’ and a spot in the top 8. After falling short of the mark last week against the Dragons (all be it a few dubious refereeing decisions) the Sharks will be out to prove a point on what looks to be a dry track for Sunday’s big game against the Canberra Raiders.
Considering the amount of injuries over the last month, the Sharks have done extremely well to stay close to the top of the Telstra Premiership Ladder. Given the Shark’s run to the finals, this is most definitely the biggest game of the year for the boys of the Shire. With a loss, the Shark’s hopes of a top 4 position could be dashed faster than fame of the ‘chick, chick, boom girl’. Sitting on 25 competition points after a tough month of injuries, the Shark’s are poised to play finals football for the first time since 2008. With future mayor of the Shire, Big Gall still out with an abdomen injury and the most tanned man in the NRL (Sorry Mr. Parker, keep trying), Jeremy Smith out with an ankle injury, the Sharks forwards must be ready to ‘rip in’ to stop the likes of former N.S.W Prop Tom Learoyd-Lahrs & big Dave Shillington.
The revelation of 2012 NRL Season, Wade ‘Burgo’ Graham has stepped up his game to the next level over the last month and will be looking to get is first win as captain at a near capacity Shark Park this Sunday. There is no doubt that the Sharks will go into the match as convincing favorites with both fans and book-makers but the attacking strength of the Raiders outside backs should not be forgotten.
If Graham, Carn’ & Robbo can put on an attacking master class against a very inconsistent Raiders outfit the Sharks should win by plenty. They have both the attacking structure and defensive effort to trouble the fringes of an inexperienced Raiders backline and will be sure to target McCrone & Williams who were completely outplayed last week by a fiery Titans side looking to keep their season alive. My predictions. Sharks to win 13+ (I will be glad to win by 1), Collin Best – First Try Scorer. Crowd attendance – 15,000+. Come on Sharks Fan’s it’s time to get behind the boys and show your support. Head down to Shark Park and get amongst it as the boys look to September and finals glory.