Things aren’t going well at the Rockingham Sharks as of late.
Last year’s minor premiers have shipped 110 points in their last two games and are at risk of dropping out of the top four of the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership if they lose against the South Perth Lions this weekend.
Coach Darren Shaw knows his team are short of confidence and says a strong performance this weekend will go a long way in getting his side back on track.
“For us it’s just getting off to that good start, not conceding any points,” he said.
“We’ve been conceding an early try in the game and it’s probably the mentality of, oh here we go again.
“We need to get out of that, get off to a good start.”
With the Sharks and Lions level on points, Shaw acknowledged the importance of a win on Saturday if his side wants to play finals football.
“We’re focussed on South Perth, hopefully, we can come out and put in a better performance than we have the last two weeks,” he said.
“There’s only seven games to go including this weekend. Our next three games are vital for us – we have South Perth, Joondalup and Willagee.
“Those three will probably dictate what happens to us for the rest of the season.”
The Sharks will head into their Round 13 clash without leading try-scorer Tevita Pomale who has returned to Melbourne to be with his pregnant wife, while young-gun Will Smith is away on representative duty with the Combined Affiliated States Under 18’s.
Connor Hudson returns to first grade after scoring a hat-trick for the reserves last weekend, with Charles Tanikopi and Jayden Toelupe also called up.
Their opponents, South Perth, are also riding a two-game losing streak, and are set to hand a debut to WA Under 18’s forward Austin Cameron.
In other games around the grounds, the Joondalup Giants host the table-topping North Beach Sea Eagles, while the Willagee Bears travel to take on an in-form Fremantle Roosters.