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Injured duo giving Sharks extra boost in finals race

Cronulla will harness positive vibes from injured duo Andrew Fifita and Ronaldo Mulitalo as they push towards the finals against Brisbane on Saturday night.

Two of the most bubbly and popular members of the squad, Fifita (fractured larynx) and Mulitalo (broken jaw) are continuing to inspire their teammates by staying upbeat despite their plights.

Fifita, who spent five days in an induced coma after being hurt in the round 22 clash with Newcastle, is recovering in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital but has spoken to the team via FaceTime.

Mulitalo, meanwhile, had a season-ending operation on Monday but is back at the squad's hotel being his usual encouraging self.

"Fifita, he always has a smile on his face – no matter what situation he's in," prop Braden Hamlin-Uele said on Tuesday.

Fifita in intensive care, but stable, after larynx injury

"He's never put himself first; it's always about someone else," he added. "Seeing him in such high spirits, it radiates around the group and we're just hoping to see him out of hospital soon.

"It's definitely something to play for. You never want one of your boys to go into hospital from a game and it will be a disservice if we don't put our best foot forward out there."

And while Mulitalo might be sore and sorry, Hamlin-Uele couldn't resist the chance to have a playful crack at his good mate.

A classy act from Ronaldo Mulitalo

"He's a lot less chirpy, which is good – you can only take Ronnie in doses and to have him say less than five words is actually a very, very good thing for my ears," he quipped.

"Nah, he's good. He's similar to Drewy. He comes around and tries to put a smile on his face as much as he can with a swollen jaw."

With the Sharks in eighth spot on 20 points – ahead of the Titans and Raiders on differential – front-rower Aaron Woods said they would draw on Fifita and Mulitalo's spirits in a bid to book a finals ticket.

"We've had a lot of obstacles we've had to overcome ... We just want to back ourselves and try and make the eight," Woods said.

"Fifita's an integral part of our squad, he's a very vocal person in this group and he's one of our main leaders.

"If we can use that as motivation, it's going to be massive for us. The big fella, I think he could be a chance of coming out [of hospital] soon if everything goes to plan.

"To get him around the group, especially before this game, would be a massive boost for the boys and just lift the confidence levels up.

"His wife Nikki is still here at the building. She goes and visits him every day. I was on FaceTime with big Fif for a bit last night. A couple of the other boys have been speaking to him as well."

Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Sharks

The off-contract Woods, who had "no update" on where he'll be playing in 2022, is a finalist for the Sports Dad of the Year award.

The 30-year-old is a doting father to Buster, two, and new daughter Coco, who was born the day before Woods had to dash to Queensland when the NRL competition relocated in July.

Sports Dad of the Year will be crowned on September 5 – Father's Day – and the winner will get to donate $5000 to their chosen charity.

"It's unreal. I don't know my father too well, so I like to be the best dad I can for my kids," Woods said with Buster nearby.

"Whether they're being a punish or not – he's running around at the moment back here ... It's a massive honour.

"We get recognised for it, but it's my job. It's something I've signed up for, being a father every day, and my wife [Sarah] does a great job as a mother as well ... It's the best job in the world that I love doing."

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.