5 KEY POINTS | Sharks v Souths
1. The Sharks loved playing under pressure
It seems that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. In what was a ‘must win’ clash to keep their season alive, the Sharks handled the pressure of finals football – and seemed to relish in knowing that if they were to lose, their premiership hopes would come to an abrupt halt.
The performance comes off the back of other decisive wins this season, not least the side’s Round 5 win at the SFS against the Roosters and their Round 16 triumph over the Cowboys.
Having toppled the Cowboys twice already this season, the Sharks are not only hopeful but confident of making it a treble of wins over the North Queensland side come Saturday.
2. Holmes and Bird handled the heat
In what was their first venture to the big stage that is the NRL Finals series, Valentine Holmes and Jack Bird showed no signs of displacement against the Rabbitohs.
While Bird made a handful of errors, the 20-year-old’s confidence was not deterred – as highlighted by his sensational individual try to open the Sharks account.
Holmes, while not so prominent in attack, handled his defensive tasks well and looked likely in cleaning up a loose ball and running the best part of 50 metres from a bust.
3. Ennis continued to menace
Sharks hooker Michael Ennis recorded another two try assists on Sunday, and proved instrumental in the side’s successes. Despite being placed on report, Ennis will be free to tackle the Cowboys this weekend - and will once more play a huge role in the side's efforts if the Sharks are to be successful north of the border.
4. Tagataese fired up – and was rewarded with a try.
Sam Tagataese’s impact on yesterday’s match was on show for all to see. The bullocking Samoan forward proved a tough task to contain for the Rabbitohs defence, and the big man was rewarded with four points – his try all-but sealing a memorable Sharks win.
5. Sharks fans helped to see the side home.
The Cronulla faithful were out in their masses as their side went about toppling the defending premiers. They brought the noise, colour, passion and atmosphere – and Shane Flanagan and his staffers are urging fans to make it to Townsville to support the side again this Saturday.