It was one of our side’s tougher wins of 2017, 26 points to 12 over the New Zealand Warriors and it had it all.
1. The toughness is still within the Sharks
The Cronulla Sharks have a tough footy team, that is evident week in week out. With players such as Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis and Chris Heighington, it is no wonder the grit and determination are synonymous with this side.
Shane Flanagan has built this side to have this mindset and it was on show in Auckland.
With the run into the finals series well and truly up and running, expect to see this toughness on show in the coming weeks as we look to solidify ourselves toward the top of the NRL ladder.
2. Attacking play coming together
Despite James Maloney not taking part in tonight’s match, the Sharks’ attack was still in good shape.
Nu Brown at five-eight and then Wade Graham when Brown went down with concussion, both played a steady hand in attack and enabled Chad Townsend to really call the shots.
Throw in the attack skill of players such as Valentine Holmes, Sosaia Feki and forward such as Andrew Fifita and James Segeyaro, you have yourself a handy football side. Here’s to hoping we see much more of this in the coming weeks!
3. Nu Brown will be OK
It was a sickening site to see, Nu Brown going down after being hit by Sam Lisone’s knee of Friday night.
Brown was stretchered off the field and taken to hospital however was back with the team later that Friday night. He will have to undergo a series of tests before he is cleared to play in next week’s match against the Canberra Raiders so Sharks fans may have to wait a week or two until he is back.
All Sharks Members and fans were concerned for the utility when he went down, showing the true spirit of this great Club.
For now, Nu will be resting up! We wish you all the best Nu.
4. Valentine ‘jack of all trades’
It certainly has been one heck of a 12 months for young Valentine Holmes. A Kangaroos Tour, State of Origin, Grand Final victory; the kid is on fire.
On Friday night, he added a perfect kicking record to that list of accomplishments, finishing the night with 4/4 conversions and 1/1 penalty goals. With James Maloney gone, it is very settling for all who follow the Sharks to know that there is an able replacement waiting in the wings.
Holmes’ transition to fullback is a week to week process however Friday night’s display highlighted that he is well and truly on his way to making it in the #1 jersey. His positional play and communication are developing with each round and are enroute to matching his natural ability in no time at all.
Exciting times for our man at the back!
5. Crucial win in context of the season
With five weeks of the regular season remaining, tonight’s victory was crucial.
Over the remainder of the season, we take on three teams who are vying for top 4 finishes, two away and one at home. These will be tough assignments for our boys and will give us a good gauge as to where we are at heading into the finals series.
However, this team thrives on these situations. We have the core group of players who are raring to go for finals yet know that there is a job to do over the coming weeks.
The time for focus is now.