5 Key Points: Sharks v Warriors
Liam Tapper (@liamtapper)
It was a tight affair at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Saturday evening however the Cronulla Sharks proved too strong for the Warriors
1. 2016 Sharks know how to win
In 2015, the Cronulla Sharks would have gone very close to losing last night’s match against the Warriors - evidence of this can even be seen from the final second loss to the same team in Round 9 at home last year.
However, in 2016 Shane Flanagan has built his side into a gritty, determined and attacking unit who have the self-belief to win when their back are against the wall. The Club’s first golden point victory of 2016 along with a win for Club Immortal Greg Peirce is testament to this.
2. Jimmy’s the ‘Golden Boot’ that keeps on giving
Not once, not twice but three times in as many weeks, Sharks five-eighth James Maloney has stood up to clinch the two competition points for his side.
Ice-cool under pressure last night, Maloney showed the poise of a genuine A-grade sharp shooter as what may go down as one of his ugliest field goals to date in fact would prove to be one of his most crucial. Coach Shane Flanagan continues to reiterate, “that’s what he’s paid to do!”
3. No Origin hangover for the Sharks 4 boys in blue
Having spent a week and a half and 80 minutes of high-intensity football in the cauldron of Rugby League, Suncrop Stadium, one could be forgiven to think that Paul Gallen, James Maloney, Andrew Fifita and Jack Bird - Wade Graham having trained with the side too – may have suffered from an Origin hangover.
This was not the case!
With Paul Gallen running for 199 metres along with making 39 tackes, Andrew Fifita running for a whopping 187 metres, Jack Bird forced to play most of the second half on the wing and Maloney doing his thing in extra time, it’s safe to say our boys were at their best last night!
4. The Bunker opens it’s doors both ways
With both camps coming out last night saying the Bunker’s ruling on the Sharks penalty try could have gone either way, it certainly shows that the penalty try is once again alive and well.
Shane Flanagan did praise the Bunker for making a “gutsy decision” in the face of criticism. Watch this space.
5. Record were made to be broken - #historyhappens?
Last night’s record-equalling 11th victory in a row put’s the Cronulla Sharks on the brink of creating their own slice of history when they host the Parramatta Eels at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Round 17.
With the record currently being held by the Cronulla Sharks side of 2002 which featured the likes of Peachey, Kimmorley, Stevens and Beattie, can the current crop of Gallen, Ennis, Bird and Holmes etch their names into Cronulla folklore next Saturday night?
Be there yourself to find out!