A DESPERATE Cronulla Sharks team will find an equally desperate New Zealand Warriors side when they meet in Sunday's crucial NRL game at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium.
Both clubs have lost three games in a row, both have injured players and could lose more before Sunday, as the finals race heats up.
The Sharks are inside the top eight; the Warriors just outside.
Uncertainty about the fitness of his stars saw Sharks coach Shane Flanagan name a 19-man squad this week. And he may well have to fly all 19 over.
For the second week in a row the Sharks will miss their injured utility forward Wade Graham (sternum) and experienced pair, centre Ben Pomeroy (groin) and prop Bryce Gibbs (shoulder).
Hooker Isaac de Gois's partner is due to have their first baby on Monday.
Though Flanagan has named skipper Paul Gallen to play his first game since he suffered a stomach injury during Origin III six weeks ago he's no certainty to play, after only some light training runs during the week.
Todd Carney's fitness has to be checked closer to Sunday.
Victims of some crucial refereeing decisions in their extra-time 21-20 loss to Penrith on Saturday, the Sharks risk dropping out of the top eight. They've picked up just one point from their last four games.
The Warriors will be without captain Simon Mannering (ankle) and centre Konrad Hurrell (foot), replaced by Elijah Taylor and Toyota Cup star Sebastine Ikahihifo.
The game will be televised live on FoxSports on Sunday at noon.
¦ Half the under-14s rugby league team from Aquinas College at Menai is in the Cronulla Sharks junior-development squad. Why?
The players have not been beaten in finals since they won their under-9s comp!
On the weekend the boys extended their run to six straight wins when they edged out McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains, 7-6, in the final of the under-14s NSW All Schools Knockout at St Marys.
Their gun centre Dylan Xerri (say Sherry) was man of the match. The winning field goal was kicked in extra time by Kyle Flanagan, talented son of the Sharks' first-grade coach, Shane Flanagan.