Runaway leaders in the NYC competition, currently fourth on the NRL table, it should come as no surprise the Sharks have already wrapped up the Club Championship in 2017.
A trophy awarded to the club which amasses the most combined points across the NRL and Holden Cup Under 20’s competitions, the Club Championship rewards excellence throughout the grades.
The Sharks have won just one previous Club Championship title, that coming back in 1995.
When adding the Sharks Junior representative teams were extremely competitive in their respective competitions earlier in the year, the SG Ball side going down in the Grand Final and the Matthews Cup Sharks bowing out in week two of the finals, and as Sharks NRL Head Coach Shane Flanagan explains the club is currently in a strong position.
“Winning the Club Championship is a great achievement and a reward for the efforts of not only the NRL squad and my staff, but everybody involved with the club right down to the Junior rep and academy teams,” Flanagan said.
“The Club Championship this year comes largely from the outstanding season the 20’s have enjoyed, but the ground work for their success was laid over a number of years.
“We won the State and National titles in both 16’s and 18’s in 2015 and many of those players are now coming through the system,” Flanagan added.
“The club is in a healthy position right now, with Jayden Brailey probably the first to be produced from our current programs and hopefully plenty more to come from this NYC group and from our junior reps and academy teams in the years ahead,” he said.
At the conclusion of round 24 of both the Holden Cup and NRL competitions, the Sharks were way out in front on 75 Club Championship points, made up of 43 points in the NYC and 32 in the NRL.
That total is 11 clear of their closest challenger the Penrith Panthers and with just eight points on offer over the final two rounds the Sharks have an unassailable lead.
The Sharks of 1995, the year after the club had claimed both the Reserve Grade and President’s Cup competitions, was the last and only time they had taken out the Club Championship.