Shark's Simmons sidelined for up to 6 weeks


A medial ligament strain in his left knee is likely to see David Simmons miss the next four to six weeks. Simmons, who injured the knee during the Sharks loss to the Brisbane Broncos last Sunday, had played 40 consecutive matches in the top grade, with that streak set to come to a grinding halt on Sunday when the Sharks tackle the Wests Tigers.

Scans taken on Monday revealed a grade two medial strain, with Simmons now set to undergo extensive physiotherapy in a bid to be back on the field as soon as possible. With the Sharks regular number one missing, coach Stuart Raper has elected to bring young Kiwi Toshio Laiseni into the starting side. After a somewhat tentative start to the 2006 season, the 21-year-old Laiseni has been in excellent form in recent weeks and deserves his shot in the top grade. Born in Tonga, Laiseni was raised in New Zealand and progressed through the ranks, representing the junior Kiwi team before being recruited to play for the Warriors. He joined the Sharks at the beginning of the year. Laiseni has played 14 games for the Sharks in the Premier League, scoring four tries and kicking seven goals in those matches. The only other change to the Sharks side sees the return of Paul Gallen from State of Origin duty. Gallen takes over at lock, with Greg Bird moving into the second row and Reece Williams onto the interchange bench. Ben Pomeroy drops back to the Premier League. After a disappointing loss to Brisbane last week the Sharks will be looking to rebound against the Tigers on Sunday. If they are to register a victory, they would need to halt a five match Tigers winning streak in games between the two clubs. At their last meeting the Tigers ran out convincing 42-16 winners in a match played on a Friday night at Campbelltown Stadium. The Sharks v Wests Tigers clash this weekend is scheduled for a 3.00pm kickoff at Toyota Park on Sunday afternoon. Origin ref Steve Clark will officiate the match.