Taking stock: Rounds 1 to 8
With wins against the Roosters, Knights and Rabbitohs, the Sharks have shown signs of promise inside the opening eight rounds of 2015.
But having surrendered leads in Round one against the Raiders – and again in Rounds four and eight against the Titans and Panthers, respectively – the Sharks sit 14th on the NRL ladder.
While the side’s results may have not reflected the effort and grit of their performances, there have been several positives to come out of the opening two months of the season.
The debut and success of five-eighth Jack Bird has been a welcome sign for the club. Having played just five games in the NRL, the 20-year-old makes his top-flight representative debut in Sunday’s City v Country clash in Wagga.
Also on the representative front, another eleven Sharks players will this weekend take to the field in their respective matches. Valentine Holmes will run out for the Junior Kangaroos having impressed in the move up in grade from the NYC.
Whilst not selected in one of those rep matches, off-season recruit Michael Ennis has made the transition from Canterbury to Cronulla with little troubles, having collected two ‘Man of the Match’ awards thus far.
The hooker’s control and organisation of the ruck has proved vital in the wins to date, and his combination with halfback Jeff Robson and the rest of the Sharks squad is ever developing.
Under no illusions that the squad must improve if they are to play finals football, coach Shane Flanagan has urged his team to learn from the eight matches.
“We need to work really hard, we’re one of those teams that needs to go on three, four or five match winning streaks,” he said.
“We need to turn this around straight away and get back on the horse in our next game.”
The Sharks will have a chance to return to the winner’s circle when they host the Warriors at Remondis Stadium on May 9.