2019 NRL Draw - The Rivalries

Each year there are games, and then there are GAMES.

For all 16 NRL teams every week is a challenge and for the Sharks that is no different, however a couple of opponents and a few games on the annual NRL draw, stand out above all others.

Those special match-ups that get the fans exited, the media talking and the players turning a sneaky eye to the future and to the games where rivalries are renewed, and bragging rights go on the line.

The Sharks and Storm over the last few years have built up a healthy respect for each other but also a fiercely competitive rivalry.

In 2019 they play twice, at Shark Park in round eight, before the return bout at AAMI Park in Melbourne during the back half of the season in round 17.

However, while Sharks-Storm is relatively new, is the Sharks and Dragons have harboured a genuine dislike for each other from almost the time when Cronulla entered the premiers NSWRL competition back in 1967.

Southern Sydney bragging rights go on the line every time they meet, with the full house sign often posted when the Sharks and Dragons come together and their two confrontations in 2019 should be no different.

In the lead-up to the local derby games coaches and players often say the relative positions on the table count for little when Cronulla and St George clash, the intensity on the field and amongst the fans is always the same, but with both touted as contenders next year positions in the top four or final eight could be up for grabs when the two teams meet.

The Dragons host the first local derby in round 11 in a match to be played on a Sunday at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, before the Sharks play host in round 22 in a game set to pack in the fans on what will hopefully be a sunny Sunday in the Sutherland Shire.

And while the Sea Eagles struggled in 2018, they their dominance over the Sharks continued with a heart-stopping 33-32 win at Shark Park and with a new coach and new direction, Manly will again provide stubborn resistance in the annual 'battle of the beaches'.

The Sharks and Manly just once in 2019, that match set down for Shark Park on a Sunday afternoon in May.

Every game is important, every two points crucial, but there are a few weekends, a handful of special match-ups, those ongoing rivalries that seem to hold a little more significance for players and fans alike.

The Rivalries
Sharks V Dragons
Round 11 – WIN Stadium – Sunday, May 26, 4.00pm
Round 22 - Shark Park - Sunday, August 18, 4.00pm

Sharks v Storm
Round 8 - Shark Park - Friday, May 3, 7.50pm
Round 17 - AAMI Park – Saturday, July 13, 7.35pm

Sharks v Sea Eagles
Round 10 - Shark Park - Sunday, May 19, 4.00pm

CLICK HERE to see the entire Sharks draw for 2019