Up until this week I had my reservations about the Sharks. They had been playing well and had managed to string together an impressive 9 straight wins, but there is a big difference between regular season form and winning a Grand Final. Monday night’s game against the in form Cowboys cemented their status as “Genuine Premiership Contenders”.
Cronulla have now beaten every team in the top 8 with the exception of the Parramatta Eels, but no game was more important than defeating the premiers. The Sharks needed to prove they could rival a top 4 team at their best, and they did so on Monday night. The Sharks stayed in the grind and matched the physicality of the Cowboys and despite not being able being able to crack the Cowboys line in the 2nd half, they stayed in the contest through their resilient defence.
The whole club is in tremendous form, reflected by the selection of Jack Bird and Wade Graham for NSW, joining Paul Gallen, Andrew Fifita and James Maloney. The challenge for the Sharks is carrying this form into a distant final series. The final test for Cronulla will be a mental test, should their form start to waiver late in the regular season.
Will 2016 be the first time the Premiership is brought to the shire?