Third-placed Cronulla Caringbah Sharks have been in impressive form in the Sydney Shield competition as they look to record their third straight win this weekend, however it won’t be an easy task as they face fourth-placed Moorebank Rams at Hammondville Oval.
Cronulla have beaten Campbelltown Eagles and Sydney University in the last fortnight and have been genuine premiership contenders all season, which was made particularly apparent when they defeated reigning premiers Ryde Eastwood Hawks 28-8 in Round 4.
They have the second-best attacking record in the competition with 150 points, only Ryde Eastwood sit above them in that respect and their coach Steve Kelly is looking forward to a challenging game against the Rams on Sunday that will determine who sits in third place on the ladder.
“We’re really excited and up for it and I know a lot of the Moorebank boys from the Bulldogs in preseason,” Kelly said.
“It should be exciting to go up against the young fellas and they’ll all come to play, that’s for sure – there’s a lot to play for.
“I think the last few weeks we’ve had a bit more consistency on the park, we’ve had so many player changes it’s been hard to get a roll on but the last few weeks it’s got there and hopefully this week we improve again on that.
“They’re starting to really play some good football, a lot of them played junior football at the club together which is good.
“It’s my junior club and I came through coaching and our other coach Joe Lichaa came through there as well so it’s nice to get the boys all back together.”
The players that joined the ranks at Cronulla this year include former NRL player Michael Lichaa, who has over 100 NRL games to his name, as well as representation with Lebanon and NSW City as well as Canterbury Cup NSW and Italian Rugby League representative Joey Tramontana but the local talent has really made an impression.
“With their experience comes polish and they can really lead the team around the park, everybody buys in and gets on board very quickly so they just add that little bit extra to the side,” Kelly said.
“We also have Mat Emery who is our 39-year-old front rower and he is a machine - he gives us massive minutes every week, against East Campbelltown he played 65 minutes and Tokerau Raru is our captain and he is another machine - he played 80 minutes the other week.
“Those guys are really helping and there’s a lot of experience in the other sides with blokes like Jamie Buhrer so it helps that you’ve got some old hard heads there to help the young fellas out.”
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