The Northern Territory news Sat 16 Apr 2022
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
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News Corp Australia
Saturday, April 16, 2022 SPORT 67 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Hynes is relishing his starting halfback role at the Sharks, who have won four of their opening five matches. Hes done well and he obviously took that opportunity, Hughes said. He didnt know if he was LITMUS TEST FOR CRONULLA THE Cronulla Sharks are expecting Saturdays clash with Melbourne Storm to reveal how far theyve truly come in the first five weeks of Craig Fitzgibbons head coaching tenure. The Sharks missed out on finals footy last season but now sit second on the ladder, having won four of their first five matches under Fitzgibbon. The Sharks have played only two of last years top eight sides in that stretch, though, and face a massive test in travelling to Melbourne to meet the Storm. Itll be a difficult challenge, one were looking forward to, Fitzgibbon said. Its going to be a hard game. Fitzgibbon said the Storm would give his side an indication as to how much progress theyve made this season. It is still very early in the season to get an exact form line but I think weve been improving gradually. Well find out where were at on Saturday night, he said. Nicho Hynes and Dale Finucane are set to play their first match against the Storm since leaving to join the Sharks. Its not lost on us that its an important game for those guys, Fitzgibbon said. The Storm have won their past two matches by a combined total of 74-16. Jasper Bruce des proud OF ALOIAI FOR peace of his mind MANLY coach Des Hasler says the Sea Eagles are very proud of forward Josh Aloiai for taking a stand against gang violence in the wake of Mondays fatal stabbing at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. After 17-year-old father-to-be Uati Pele Faletolu was killed, Aloiai issued a desperate plea to young Pacific Islanders. Islanders are assaulting and killing other islanders in the streets. Often kids. Our very own people! Where have we lost our identity? he wrote on Instagram. On Friday, Hasler said his admired Aloiai for speaking up so passionately. The clubs very proud, he said. Josh understands that hes in a position not only as an athlete, but as a father and a parent, to be seen to be taking that stance and being able to actively do something about it. Because hes been through it. He knows the background so he knows exactly what hes talking about. Rugby league is really fortunate to have people like Josh. Hasler also applauded Panthers winger Brian Too, who showed his support for Faletolus loved ones on social media. Its great that you have individu als within the game like Josh and Brian, and others Im sure, who stand up and take that responsibility, Hasler said. Its just fantastic. The Sea Eagles are set to welcome highly rated young gun Tolutau Koula back into the 17 for Saturday afternoons clash with the Gold Coast Titans. Koula replaces Morgan Harper, who has contracted Covid-19, and will provide Manly with a strike weapon on the left edge. Hes got that little bit of surprise about him. Hes very quick, hes got that turn of speed, Hasler said. Hes that type of player where things happen around him. He can certainly cre ate something. Hes got tremendous speed and pace to complement that. The Sea Eagles have been working to improve their defensive game this season and are reaping the rewards. Manly has conceded only two tries across its last two games. Hasler said the Sea Eagles would need to be on their game against an offensively potent side in the Titans, who boast wrecking ball David Fifita. I think youve got to make sure that defensively youve got all bases covered, he said. Thats really important. Theres just the simple things in defence that we need to be good at. Jasper Bruce Hynes development impresses former teammate MELBOURNE Storm star Jahrome Hughes believes former teammate and fellow playmaker Nicho Hynes has taken his game to another level since joining Cronulla. Hynes and former Storm skipper Dale Finucane will return to AAMI Park on Saturday night for the first time in a Sharks jersey since leaving Melbourne. Hynes was one of the NRLs breakout stars last year after stepping into the fullback role after Ryan Papenhuyzen suffered a nasty concussion during Magic Round in May. Relegated to the bench upon Papenhuyzens return, going to be a starter here and he got the opportunity to start at the Sharks and hes taking it with two hands. We always knew he was going to be a good player, he just needed the opportunity to start and hes shown how good he is. Hughes said it would feel strange going up against two good friends. I reckon theyve been one of the best teams in the comp at the moment and theyve started well, he said. I feel like Dale and Nicho have given them a lot of confidence and theyre flying at the moment, so its going to be a tough one but were looking forward to it Its going to be weird (playing against Hynes and Finucane). Having those guys at the club for so long and theyre really good blokes and I really get on with both of them, but Im not talking to them this week. The Storm halfback said he expected both players to be treated favourably by the Melbourne crowd. Theyve been great for this club and theyre great people as well, so I think the fans will give them a good reception, he said. But hopefully during the game they can get stuck into them. Both the Storm and Sharks will be hoping to stay entrenched in the NRLs top four. Nicho Hynes. NICK SMART Coach calls on No. 7 to take bite out of Cherry-Evans TITANS coach Justin Holbrook has urged young halfback Toby Sexton to come out of his shell to face the man who could have been wearing his Gold Coast No. 7 jersey Manly star Daly Cherry-Evans. Sexton will make his 10th NRL appearance on Saturday at 4 Pines Park when the Titans face the red-hot Sea Eagles, who are chasing a fourth straight win. In a parallel universe, it could have been Cherry-Evans starting at halfback for the Titans if the Maroons and Kangaroos star had not reneged on a $5m contract with the Gold Coast in 2015 to remain a one-club legend with Manly. A 266-game NRL ace like Cherry-Evans is exactly the type of mentor Sexton needs in the infancy of his first-grade career. After being handed the Gold Coasts playmaking duties, which saw seasoned halfback Jamal Fogarty released to Canberra, Sexton has had an up and down start to 2022. While the Australian Schoolboys sensation is undoubtedly talented, he has floated in and out of games and struggled to assert his dominance, but Holbrook is showing faith in 21-yearold Sexton. Im happy with Toby, Holbrook said. He started really well but hes maybe not playing as much (footy) as hed like now. Hes been a little bit conservative, which weve spoken about. All in all he is controlling the games really well for us. For us to be in the mix in every game is a good indication of Toby doing really well for us at seven. He will get better all the time On the other side of the field on Saturday will be CherryEvans, who is arguably playing as well as he ever has at age 33, and in his 12th NRL season. Holbrook admitted the Titans would struggle to shut down Manlys chief. He has dictated games himself for a number of years now he said. He is playing fantastic so weve got to do a good job on him. The pressure will be on highly rated Titans rookie Toby Sexton as he faces NRL star Daly Cherry Evans in Saturday nights clash with Manly. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images TRAVIS MEYN
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