From ri­vals to one big snappy fam­ily

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL -

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

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