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Shark Tales of Hope and Inspiration

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

A few weeks ago on a sunny autumn afternoon, two tales of hope and inspiration were unfolding as the Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks Sydney Shield team prepared to take on the Moorebank Rams in their round 11 match at Cronulla High School.

The first story involved Mark Russell, a long-time Cronulla-Caringbah member, joining his two sons, Jimmy and William, on the park where all three were to play together for the first time.

The second story centred around Sage Wilder, an inspirational young man playing his first game after fighting and defeating leukaemia.

The stage was set for what could not be anything but a memorable game of rugby league, eagerly anticipated and cheered on by many family and friends.

Mark took the field late in the first half to the delight and cheers from the crowd. Showing the crowd age has no boundaries when it comes to the sport you love, being able to take the field alongside his sons was a special moment that Mark, Jimmy and William will remember forever.

Mark Russell and his 2 sons Jimmy & William.

Sage Wilder's comeback was equally as memorable. After battling cancer for the past 4 years, Sage felt it was only fitting that his first game back should be with his beloved Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks, the club where it all began back in the early days of his junior football career.

Everything played out like it had been scripted for a Hollywood movie. The Cronulla- Caringbah Sharks defeated the Rams 42-22 and Sage Wilder shone, looking dangerous with every touch of the ball and deservedly winning Man of the Match.

Sage's story is an emotional one that was defined by courage and determination and ends with triumph over adversity. In his post match interview Sage spoke about the importance of family and the invaluable support and encouragement he received that saw him through this battle. He said "Never give up, no matter what life throws at you" which are definitely words to live by.

Well done Sage Wilder you are an inspiration to us all.

Sage Wilder ready to make his comeback.


Channel 7 News Story


Pictures: Adam Wrightson

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