By Jeff Petersen
Saturday night’s meeting with Melbourne at AAMI Park sees the Sharks tackle a side still reeling from a stiff loss to Manly in their Round Two clash at Brookvale.
The Sharks are slowly gaining momentum despite the opening two losses of 2015, with the last Round effort against the Broncos showing that there is potential amongst the group, with Coach Shane Flanagan adamant our new guns and revitalised player attitude will bring us rewards this season.
Since 1998 the Sharks away column against Melbourne makes for not so pleasant reading with a 4 and 12 record from 16 outings. Cronulla are yet to break their duck at AAMI Park after 5 straight losses that have yielded only seven tries. The Storm, match hardened but bruised, will show no mercy again to a Sharks outfit hell-bent on gutsing out a win come Saturday night.
This will be the Sharks 17th away meeting and 27th overall against the Storm. It will also be the game where the Cronulla club can notch up their 500 points scored against Melbourne in all games since 1998.
Former forward Phil Bailey holds the mantle of being the Sharks highest try scorer against the Storm, with five. Four of these tries coming in consecutive games. Mat Rogers’ record for most points in a game versus Melbourne still stands to this day. In this game Mat scored 18 points, from 3 tries and 3 goals, in the first ever meeting between the two clubs at Shark Park in Round 03, 1998.
Last season’s visit to AAMI Park on Saturday August 16th resulted in a 6-48 rout in Round 23, in front of a crowd of 12,185. It was the heaviest loss inflicted by a Melbourne side against Cronulla. Here is a full stats breakdown for the 2014 meeting that day:
Storm 48 (Mahe Fonua 2, Tim Glasby 2, Jesse Bromwich, Will Chambers, Marika Koroibete, Jordan McLean, Sisi Waqa tries; Cameron Smith 6 goals from 9 attempts)
Sharks 6 (Valentine Holmes try; Michael Gordon one goal from one attempt)
Storm: 1.Fullback Billy Slater; 2.Wing Sisa Waqa, 3.Centre Will Chambers, 4.Centre Mahe Fonua, 5.Wing Marika Koroibete; 6.Five-Eighth Ben Roberts, 7.Halfback Cooper Cronk; 17.Lock Jordan McLean, 12.Second Row Ryan Hoffman, 11.Second Row Kevin Proctor, 10.Front Row Bryan Norrie, 9.Hooker Cameron Smith (Captain), 8.Front Row Jesse Bromwich. Interchange: 13.Ryan Hinchcliffe, 14.Tim Glasby, 15.Tohu Harris, 18.Junior Moors.
Sharks: 1.Fullback Michael Gordon; 2.Wing Sosaia Feki, 3.Centre Jonathan Wright, 4.Centre Ricky Leutele, 5.Wing Valentine Holmes; 6.Five-Eighth Fa’amanu Brown, 7.Halfback Jeff Robson; 13.Lock Paul Gallen (Captain), 12.Second Row Tupou Sopoaga, 11.Second Row Chris Heighington, 10.Front Row Matt Prior, 14.Hooker Pat Politoni, 16.Front Row Tinirau Arona. Interchange: 8.Tim Robinson, 9.Michael Lichaa, 15.Vitale Junior Roqica, 17.Blake Ayshford.
Halftime Score: Storm 30-0. Scrums: Sharks 7-2. Penalties: Sharks 9-7. Referees: Matt Cecchin & Henry Perenara.
SHARKS FACT: Melbourne’s first NRL game in 1998 at WIN Stadium was against the Illawarra Steelers and boasted four Sharks either former or players who would go on to wear Cronulla colours - Paul Bell, Robbie Kearns, Brett Kimmorley and Tawera Nikau.
SHARKS / Storm – BY THE NUMBERS
OUR AWAY RECORD (1998-2015)
All-Time Record: Played 26 Won 9 Drawn 0 Lost 18 Points For 499 Points Against 629
Total Away Record vs Storm: Played 16 Won 4 Drawn 0 Lost 12 Points For 229 Points Against 392
Record vs Storm at Olympic Park, Melbourne: Played 8 Won 4 Drawn 0 Lost 4 Points For 147 Points Against 164
Record vs Storm at Melbourne Cricket Ground: Played 1 Won 0 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Points For 16 Points Against 22 Rd 21 June 24, 2000
Record vs Storm at Colonial Stadium, Melbourne: Played 1 Won 0 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Points For 24 Points Against 34 Rd 04 March 11, 2001
Record vs Storm at Sydney Football Stadium: Played 1 Won 0 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Points For 0 Points Against 28 Preliminary Final, September 26, 2008
Record vs Storm at AAMI Park, Melbourne: Played 5 Won 0 Drawn 0 Lost 5 Points For 36 Points Against 96
Sharks Form in Last 5 Away Games vs Storm: Loss 6-48 (Rd 23 2014) Loss 6-38 (Rd 13 2013) Loss 18-20 (Rd 25 2012) Loss 8-14 (Rd 12 2011) Loss 4-24 (Rd 24 2010)
Sharks Form in Last 5 Games vs Storm: Loss 6-48 (Rd 23 2014 at AAMI Park) Loss 6-38 (Rd 13 2013 at AAMI Park) Loss 18-20 (Rd 25 2012 at AAMI Park) Won 12-10 (Rd 10 2012 at Sharks Stadium) Loss 8-14 (Rd 12 2011 at AAMI Park)
Sharks First Away Game vs Storm: Rd 22 at Olympic Park, August 07, 1998 (Loss 10-20) Sharks Scorers: Brett Howland try; Mat Rogers 3 goals Att: 13,667
Sharks First Away Game at AAMI Park: Rd 24, August 21, 2010 (Loss 4-24) Sharks Scorer: Luke Covell try. Att: 8,902
Sharks First Away Win vs Storm: Rd 05 at Olympic Park, April 04, 1999 (Won 20-16) Sharks Scorers: Andrew Ettingshausen, David Peachey, Russell Richardson tries; Mat Rogers 4 goals Att: 13,629
Sharks Biggest Away Win vs Storm: 30-10 Rd 22, April 30, 2005 (20pts margin) Sharks Scorers: Phil Bailey, Paul Gallen, Matt Hilder, David Peachey, Michael Sullivan tries; Luke Covell 5 goals Att: 8,372
Sharks Last Away Game vs Storm: 6-48 Rd 23, August 16, 2014 Sharks Scorers: Valentine Holmes try; Michael Gordon goal Att: 12,185
Sharks Last Away Win vs Storm: 17-16 Rd 02, March 23, 2008 Sharks Scorers: Paul Gallen, Brett Kearney, David Simmons tries; Luke Covell 2 goals; Brett Kimmorley field goal Att: 10,720
Sharks Heaviest Away Defeat vs Storm: 6-48 Rd 23, August 16, 2014 (42pts margin)
Sharks Best Attendance vs Storm: 27,570 at Sydney Football Stadium, Preliminary Final, September 26, 2008; Regular H & A Season: 16,231 Rd 13 at AAMI Park, June 09, 2013
Sharks Away Attendance Average vs Storm: 12,502
Sharks Points Average Per Away Game vs Storm:14.3 pts
Most Away Points Scored by the Sharks vs Storm: (36pts) Won 36-26 Rd 09, May 08, 2004
Most Aggregate Points Scored in an Away Game vs Storm: (62pts) Won 36-26 Rd 09, May 08, 2004
Most Sharks Points Conceded vs Storm: (48pts) Loss 6-48 Rd 23, August 16, 2014
Most Total Points Scored by a Sharks Player vs Storm: (52pts) by Luke Covell, (2 tries 22 goals); In Melbourne: (18pts) by Luke Covell, (2 tries 10 goals)
Most Sharks Points Scored in a Game vs Storm: (18pts) by Mat Rogers, (3 tries 3 goals), Rd 03 March 28, 1998 at Shark Park; In Melbourne: (12pts) by Jason Ferris, (1 try 4 goals), Rd 04, March 11, 2001
Most Tries Scored in a Game vs Storm: (2 tries) twice by Preston Campbell, Rd 21 at MCG, June 24, 2000 & Rd 04 at Colonial Stadium, March 11, 2001; Most in Both H & A: (3 tries) by Mat Rogers, Rd 03 at Shark Park, March 28, 1998 & (3 tries) by Damien Mostyn, Rd 17 at Toyota Park, June 23, 2001
Most Goals Scored in an Away Game vs Storm: (5 goals) by Luke Covell, Rd 08 at Olympic Park, April 30, 2005
Most Sharks Team Tries Scored in a Game vs Storm: (7 tries) Rd 09 at Olympic Park, May 08, 2004 (Won 36-26) Sharks Scorers: Phil Bailey, Paul Gallen, Matt Hilder, David Peachey, David Simmons, Michael Sullivan, Nigel Vagana tries; Brett Kimmorley 4 goals Att: 8,175
Total Try Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm at AAMI Park: (7 Tries, 6 Try Scorers) Isaac Gordon 2; Luke Covell 1; Nathan Stapleton 1; Sam Tagataese 1; Beau Ryan 1; Valentine Holmes 1.
Total Goal Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm at AAMI Park: (7 Goals, 3 Goal Scorers) Todd Carney 4; Scott Porter 2; Michael Gordon 1.
Total Field Goal Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm at AAMI Park: none
Total Try Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm at All Away Venues: (41 Tries, 27 Try Scorers) Preston Campbell 4; David Peachey 3; Phil Bailey 3; Paul Gallen 3; Matt Hilder 2; David Simmons 2; Michael Sullivan 2; Luke Covell 2; Isaac Gordon 2; Brett Howland 1; Andrew Ettingshausen 1; Russell Richardson 1; Mitch Healey 1; Nathan Long 1; Adam Dykes 1; Jason Ferris 1; Paul Franze 1; Danny Nutley 1; Nigel Vagana 1; Darren Albert 1; Richard Villasanti 1; Brett Kearney 1; Blake Ferguson 1; Nathan Stapleton 1; Sam Tagataese 1; Beau Ryan 1; Valentine Holmes 1.
Total Goal Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm at All Away Venues: (32 Goals, 7 Goal Scorers) Luke Covell 10; Mat Rogers 7; Jason Ferris 4; Brett Kimmorley 4; Todd Carney 4; Scott Porter 2; Michael Gordon 1.
Total Field Goal Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm at All Away Venues: (1 Field Goal, 1 Field Goal Scorer) Brett Kimmorley 1 (in 2008).
All-Time Total Try Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm: (87 Tries, 49 Try Scorers) Phil Bailey 5; Mat Rogers 4; David Peachey 4; Colin Best 4; Preston Campbell 4; Matt Hilder 4; David Simmons 4; Adam Dykes 3; Damien Mostyn 3; Paul Gallen 3; Nigel Vagana 3; Isaac Gordon 3; Paul Mellor 2; Dean Treister 2; Brett Kimmorley 2; Danny Nutley 2; Michael Sullivan 2; Luke Covell 2; Brett Howland 1; Andrew Ettingshausen 1; Russell Richardson 1; Sean Ryan 1; Mitch Healey 1; Nathan Long 1; Jason Ferris 1; Brent Grose 1; Chris McKenna 1; Luke Stuart 1; Karl Lovell 1; Greg Bird 1; Jason Kent 1; Jason Stevens 1; Paul Franze 1; Nathan Merritt 1; Matthew Rieck 1; Beau Scott 1; Reece Williams 1; Darren Albert 1; Richard Villasanti 1; Henry Perenara 1; Ben Pomeroy 1; Brett Kearney 1; Blake Ferguson 1; Luke Douglas 1; Jeremy Smith 1; Nathan Stapleton 1; Sam Tagataese 1; Beau Ryan 1; Valentine Holmes 1.
All-Time Goal Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm: (75 Goals, 10 Goal Scorers) Luke Covell 22; Mat Rogers 15; Brett Kimmorley 11; Todd Carney 6; Jason Ferris 5; Preston Campbell 5; Matt Hilder 4; Mitch Healey 3; Scott Porter 3; Michael Gordon 1.
All-Time Field Goal Scorers for the Sharks vs Storm: (1 Field Goal, 1 Field Goal Scorer) Brett Kimmorley 1 (in 2008).