5 Key Points: Sharks v Manly
1. Andrew Fifita was back at his damaging best
Andrew Fifita’s work and presence in the middle of the field versus the Sea Eagles was that of a champion effort, and one much needed by the Sharks against a physical manly outfit.
Fifita put the offload away last night in search of effective, tough metres – and his carries proved decisive on several occasions, not least in earning the side a penalty to send the Sharks to a 14-12 lead.
Fifita recorded 22 carries for 202 metres, including five tackle busts.
When at his best, there isn’t a better prop in the game.
2. Southern Cross Group Stadium is a place where no team wants to play
Six wins from as many starts at Home this season shows that Southern Cross Group Stadium – and the Members and fans who fill it – brings out the best in the Sharks side.
Any and every successful side must be successful at Home, and the Sharks are doing their bit to keep their faithful supporters rolling through the gates.
3. Maloney’s kicking proved the difference
James Maloney’s work with the boot, both off the tee and in general play, proved the difference at the end of the 80 minutes.
While Jamie Lyon left his kicking boots across the harbour, Maloney kicked four goals from five attempts to lead the Sharks to a win.
Perhaps though, it was a deft chip into the in-goal to earn a repeat set – from which the Sharks scored – that was the turning point on the night.
4. Sharks Origin hopefuls did their chances no harm
Paul Gallen and James Maloney will be wearing the Sky Blue of NSW on June 1, but it was the Sharks fellow Origin chances that did their bit to sway Laurie Daley’s mind.
Wade Graham, Andrew Fifita and Jack Bird were strong against the Sea Eagles, so too Michael Ennis and Chad Townsend.
5. First into a Bye has the Sharks full of running
The Sharks have three of their next five games at Home, and will be intent on maintaining their perfect record at Southern Cross Group Stadium after the Bye.
Round 13’s match-up with the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium is a preface to three consecutive matches at Southern Cross Group Stadium, with the Sharks hopeful of setting their season up for a strong charge over the Origin period.