When Cronulla first entered the then-NSWRL in 1967, the battle lines were drawn and the Shire derbies between the Sharks and Dragons as we now know it came to be.
While the thought of a fan changing their allegiance between the archrivals is enough to make some squirm, Matt Crosby – a proud Shark of near on three decades – went to work and converted his Dragons-supporting wife Renae into a Cronulla fan.
After years of barracking for the Red V, the third-generation Dragons fan now dons the Black, White and Blue with pride and will again do so come Sunday when the Sharks host their local foes.
“She came across and at the fan forums last year, she said ‘I’m going to be a Sharks supporter. I didn’t see it coming at all,” Crosby said of Renae.
“She had cousins playing for the club a few years back, so she enjoyed the change of heart. It was easier than it would be in most other cases.
“Fourteen years of hard, convincing work, finally paid off.”
In going about growing the numbers of loud and proud Sharks supporters, Crosby’s support of the side has developed even-further in 2015 having been involved in the Shark Crew and assisting in the establishment of the Shark Tank.
Crosby and his fellow parochial Sharks tragics are at the heart of the ever-growing Shark Tank and working together with the Club, the group is striving to improve the game-day experience at Remondis Stadium.
“We run it the best we can. We try and make it more family-friendly, so everyone can jump in there and have fun,” said Crosby.
“The atmosphere has definitely improved. We’re slowly making it better to make it something the Club can push as an area of loud, active support.
“It’ll continue to grow this year, and again into next.”
Forever the optimist, Crosby holds high hopes of the Sharks making the 2015 finals series and kicking on to score a premiership.
For more information on the Shark Tank, and to become an active supporter within the group, click through to the official Facebook page HERE.