Article by George Berry
Just two weeks ago, these teams met for what was a vigorous battle at Cowles Stadium, with the Sharks coming out on top 93-79. However, the Canterbury Rams enter this game with yet another win under their belt. Their 91-83 victory against the Taylor Hawks will be a massive confidence boost heading into one of the biggest games they will play this season.
The Rams have been unsuccessful against the Sharks this season, and will put everything on the line to try and hand the Sharks their third straight loss. The Sharks have dropped their last two matches, both on the road and there’s no doubt the Rams will look to capitalize on this with the help of their home court advantage.
The Sharks will be drawing up many plays to stop key Rams players taking control early on in the game. Mckenzie Moore is coming off a player of the week performance against the Taylor Hawks, posting a triple-double in his second home game since making his return in the red and black uniform. Additionally, Marcel Jones is still leading the league in defensive rebounds and will be a force that the Sharks will be thinking extensively on how to stop.
The Rams side will come into this game full of excitement, knowing that there are only 2 more home games left in the season. The Sharks are stacked with ANBL calibre players Alex Pledger, Reuben Te Rangi Mitch Norton and more who lace up for teams here and across the ditch. They will be hard to stop from their various spots on the court, but one particular player has recently struck form. Luke Aston and is averaging 17.7 points per game in his last three matches, and nearly 44% from three. In their last match with the Rams, he scored 20 points and was consistently hurting the Rams’ chances of coming back into the game with his shooting. The Rams were not switched on defensively in their last match-up with the Sharks. Big men Mike Karena, Gareth Dawson and Marques Whippy will have to ensure their presence is felt if they are to walk into the changing rooms with a win on their backs.
It’s no secret how big this game is for both teams as they stare down the barrel of the final four tournament in Tauranga. The Rams will look to improve their record to 8-7 and finally get a win against the Sharks this season, while the Southland based side will be looking to get their campaign back on track after a rough two weeks.
Tip-off is at 7pm this Saturday, the 27th May.
Don’t miss the action, buy your tickets here: https://nz.patronbase.com/_RAMS/Productions