SHARKS vs GIANTS - FRIDAY, ILT SOUTHLAND STADIUM @ 7PM
On the back of a loss to the Jets last week, and the tough schedule both of these teams face this round, this game takes on a whole new meaning.
The Sharks will be seething after dropping a game on the road to the Jets for the second season running, plus they look banged up and unsettled right now with another restricted player change expected for this weekend (Roberto Nelson).
The Giants come to town off a game the previous night in Canterbury and regardless of that result the visitors will give this one their all. It’s very hard to win in Invercargill, but the Sharks are a bit shaky right now and that could open the door a little for the workmanlike Giants.
Jarrad Weeks torched the Airs last week and will be up for the challenge on Jordair Jett here, Tyrell Harrison will get the tough job on Alex Pledger, while the job of stopping Rhys Vague could be given to Tom Vodanovich.
These two teams are meeting for the second time this season, the earlier meeting at Nelson going the way of the Sharks 100-91 after the Giants failed to hit shots late. On that night, the experience of the Sharks completed what was a very tough win. Quality clash this one with the Sharks (4th) needing a bounce-back performance over the Giants (2nd).
SHARKS - Starting 5 35. Alex Pledger (centre) 97. Jarrad Weeks (guard) 22. Hyrum Harris (guard/forward) 24 . Todd Blanchfield (guard) 15. Tom Vodanovich (forward)
Bench 23. Jeremy Kendle (guard) *Questionable 11. Dom Kelman-Poto (forward) 14. Tai Wynyard (centre) 25. Andrew Wheeler (guard) 34. Connor Coll (forward) 2. Tom Cowie (guard) 45. Tinashe Matambanadzo (guard)
Coach: Judd Flavell Assistant: Leyton Haddleton Manager: Troy Paulin Physio: Hayden Sproat
From The Coach – Judd Flavell This game will be a bit of a bounce back game for us after last weekend’s tough road trip. We definitely need to step up and show more resilience on the defensive end and that will be one of our focusses. Nelson have some real weapons in their team and will be a great test for us but it’s great to back on our home court again after a month of away trips.
GIANTS - Starting 5 2. Jordair Jett (guard) 11. Daniel Grida (guard) 24. Tyrell Harrison (centre) 25. Rhys Vague (forward) 10. Samuel Dempster (forward)
Bench 6. Ali Granger (guard) 7. Riley Bensemann (guard) 9. Tom Ingham (guard) 22. Tyler Marsh (guard) 26. Bronson Beri (forward) 42. Tysxun Aiolupotea (guard) 55. Kruz Perrott-Hunt (guard)
Coach: Mike Fitchett Assistant: Phil Jones Manager: Andrew Stevens Physio: Ashlee Lusty
From The Coach – Mike Fitchett After a good home-stand to start the season we finally have the chance to hit the road. We come up against two quality sides this week, so will have be right on top of our game. We are looking forward to the challenge.