From rivals to one big snappy family
LAST year, Chad Townsend and Scott Sorensen caused a family split.
Today, the families will unite as the brothers-in-law play together for the Sharks for the first time.
Townsend is married to Sorensen’s sister Marissa with the pair welcoming their first child Myra this month.
Marissa was left in an awkward situation last year when her husband and brother went head-to-head on the field. Sorensen was making his Raiders debut with Townsend walking away with more than just the two points in the round-two game with Cronulla, winning 42-16.
“During the game, he came charging up on me on the last tackle to put pressure on me,” Townsend laughed. “I passed it to Luke Lewis and we scored. My wife made the trip down and, because it was Scott’s Raiders debut, they looked after her and put her in a box and made it a special occasion.
“She was sitting up in the stand not sure what team to go for.”
The pair reignited their friendly rivalry in the offseason after Sorensen rejoined the Sharks following a one-year stint at Canberra.
With Townsend parked on Cronulla’s right side and Sorensen training as a leftedge back-rower, the pair were in constant contact during heavy opposed sessions.
While Sorensen said “we are pretty easy with each other”, Townsend disagreed.
“He has been running at me all pre-season,” Townsend said. “It hasn’t been an easy feat to tackle the big fella.
“I’m super proud of the way he has handled himself since he got back here.
“He had an extremely good pre-season. In the first six rounds of the NSW Cup, he has been head and shoulders above most of the competition. He has won man of the match a few times.
“He deserves his shot. He is ready to play.
“It’s going to be a special day for our family. It’ll be some memories we will look back on when we finish up our careers.”
Injuries to the likes of Wade Graham, Paul Gallen and Jayson Bukuya paved the way for Sorensen to return to the top grade.
The nephew of famed Sharks duo Dane and Kurt Sorensen, he has already tasted first grade as a Shark. Sorensen featured in three games during Cronulla’s ASADA-plagued 2014 season but is yet to win a game in his five NRL matches.
“It’ll sink in when we are in the sheds and the huddle before the game,” Sorensen said. “It’ll be a proud day for the family.
“I held a bit of a chip on my shoulder when (I made my debut). I was just filling a place. It wasn’t the most exciting circumstances for a debut. But I’m just as proud and happy to put the jersey on again.
“It’s ideal to be back here. It was fantastic to come home and be around the family and potentially play with Chad.’’
Sorensen, Marissa and Townsend. Scott Sorensen and Chad Townsend. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts