NRL Preview: Title defence begins
It’s long been said that the task of defending an NRL title is much harder than it is to win one.
Difficult, yes. But impossible, no.
Some 151 days after an historic Premiership triumph, the Sharks will return to Southern Cross Group Stadium, last heralded as the scene of an after-party unlike any other gone before.
But on the pursuit of glory greater still, the Sharks are eyeing a first-up win over the Broncos to ignite the 2017 campaign.
“The party stopped after Christmas to be honest, last year was last year, we know how tough this game is,” said Sharks Vice Captain, Wade Graham.
“There’s 15 other teams coming out this year trying to win that Premiership this year … the NRL is a tough game, there’s always competitors out there … There’s 15 other teams coming after what we got last year.”
That’s the challenge for Shane Flanagan’s men, who are set to ink new a new chapter into the book that is the Sharks history.
And there’s no better occasion than that of the season opener, in front of a packed home-crowd, as the reigning NRL champions.
“We’re ready (to be defending Premiers), it’s been a busy offseason obviously … If that’s what comes with winning the competition, I’ll take that every week,” said Flanagan.
“Maybe teams do prepare a little bit better (now knowing the Sharks are the Premiers), they don’t come here thinking, like maybe in the previous years, they thought they’d just get the two points.
“Now, they know they’re going to have to come here and work for them. It’s a good position for us to be in, for our fans and for our sponsors and so on. We’re looking forward to it.”
Played – 51 games. Sharks (20 wins), Broncos (31 wins).
Last 5 – Sharks (2), Broncos (3).
Last Time We Met: Sharks 30 def. Broncos 28.
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Click HERE to see Graham’s presser in full
Click HERE to hear from Captain Paul Gallen ahead of #NRLSharksBroncos