Digital Image Grant Trouville © nrlphotos.com : NRL Rugby League Round 7- Cronulla Sharks v Sydney Roosters at Remondis Stadium, Saturday the 19th April 2014. Easter Saturday. #nrlcrosyd

Not many players reach 100 NRL games, with the average hovering somewhere in the 40’s, which makes the achievement of not only playing 245 games for the one club, but also captaining that same team on 100 occasions, something to celebrate.

Tomorrow night at Remondis Stadium the Sharks skipper Paul Gallen ticks off another memorable moment in an already celebrated career with his 100 match as Cronulla team captain.

While acknowledging the milestone, simply accepting the accolades and pats on the back is the last thing he was looking for in the lead-up to Saturday’s game, with a positive result against the Titans foremost in his thinking.

“Is it my 100th game as captain?” Gallen enquired, unbeknownst when informed of the achievement. “It’s nice, but it won’t really matter if we don’t win. That’s all I’m really worrying about.”

While Gallen’s career began in round 15, 2001, when as a 20-year-old he debuted in a match with the Eels, it would be six years later when he would run out first for the Sharks after being put in charge by then-coach Ricky Stuart.  

Gallen’s first run as captain came on July 8, 2007 when deputising for an injured Brett Kimmorley against the Bulldogs at a home, in what was his 114th first grade game.

He would go on to skipper the Sharks eight times that year before being made club captain the following season.   

And from there the rest is history, with Gallen not only captaining the Sharks, but also the NSW Blues, where last year he enjoyed the honour of hoisting the Origin shield in victory.

If the Sharks needed any extra incentive on Saturday night, Gallen’s 100th game as captain might provide it, if not maybe Chris Heighington’s 250th NRL game, Michael Gordon’s 50th match in Sharks colours, or Jack Bird’s NRL debut, with the four significant milestones worthy of celebration.

 

SHARKS CAPTAINCIES DURING PAUL GALLEN’S CAREER

2001 29 GAMES – DAVID PEACHEY 20, JASON STEVENS 9

2002 27 GAMES – DAVID PEACHEY 21, CHRIS BEATTIE 4, BRETT KIMMORLEY 1, JASON STEVENS 1

2003 24 GAMES – BRETT KIMMORLEY 17, DAVID PEACHEY 7

2004 24 GAMES – BRETT KIMMORLEY 15, DANNY NUTLEY 6, DAVID PEACHEY 3

2005 25 GAMES – BRETT KIMMORLEY 23, DAVID PEACHEY 2

2006 24 GAMES – BRETT KIMMORLEY 19, ADAM DYKES 4, NIGEL VAGANA 1

2007 24 GAMES – BRETT KIMMORLEY 13, PAUL GALLEN 8, ADAM DYKES 2, LUKE COVELL 1

2008 26 GAMES – PAUL GALLEN 19, GREG BIRD 4, BRETT KIMMORLEY 3

2009 24 GAMES – LUKE COVELL 9, PAUL GALLEN 8, TRENT BARRETT 7

2010 24 GAMES – TRENT BARRETT 22, LUKE COVELL 1, LUKE DOUGLAS 1

2011 24 GAMES – PAUL GALLEN 20, JOHN MORRIS 3, JEREMY SMITH 2, COLIN BEST 1 (*MORRIS & BEST co-Captained Rd 11; **MORRIS & SMITH co-Captained Rd 17)

2012 25 GAMES – PAUL GALLEN 16, JEREMY SMITH 6, WADE GRAHAM 3

2013 26 GAMES – PAUL GALLEN 16, WADE GRAHAM 8, JEFF ROBSON 1, JOHN MORRIS 1, TODD CARNEY 1, LUKE LEWIS 1 (*MORRIS, LEWIS & ROBSON co-Captained Rd 26)

2014 24 GAMES – WADE GRAHAM 11, PAUL GALLEN 9, JEFF ROBSON 4

2015 3 GAMES – PAUL GALLEN 3

*Stats supplied by Sharks Historian Jeff Petersen