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Cronulla haven’t had too much trouble making the top eight in recent seasons, but they haven’t been able to win a finals match since 2018, something they will be looking to rectify in 2024.

Following two straight years of straight sets exits, the Sharks squad will need to work on learning how to better adapt to the pressure to rise in big games.

Given his popularity and standing in the game, star halfback Nicho Hynes has been made to bear the brunt of any criticism, but as his own harshest critic, he knows he will need to push himself ever harder to help elevate his side to the next level.

However, Hynes can’t do it alone and overall, the Sharks need to find a more ruthless streak and fight the perception that they can’t beat top eight sides, let alone win finals matches.

This coming season, the side will be looking to find those improvements within themselves having made minimal signings, while losing the experience of 2023 captain Wade Graham to retirement and Matt Moylan to the Super League.

With Hynes, firebrand winger Ronaldo Mulitalo, attacking fullback Will Kennedy and powerful forwards including Braden Hamlin-Uele providing plenty of strike, the Sharks have the ingredients to improve, but just need to find the right mix to put it all together when it matters most.

NRL Fantasy club by club: Sharks

Predicted Round 1 team

  1. Will Kennedy
  2. Sione Katoa
  3. Jesse Ramien
  4. Siosifa Talakai
  5. Ronaldo Mulitalo
  6. Braydon Trindall
  7. Nicho Hynes
  8. Toby Rudolph
  9. Blayke Brailey
  10. Braden Hamlin-Uele
  11. Briton Nikora
  12. Teig Wilton
  13. Dale Finucane
  14. Cameron McInnes
  15. Oregon Kaufusi
  16. Royce Hunt
  17. Jack Williams

Full Sharks squad and signings here.

Key Changes 

  • Ins: Billy Burns (Dragons), Michael Gabrael (Bulldogs).
  • Outs: Wade Graham (retired), Matt Moylan (Leigh Leopards), Connor Tracey (Bulldogs).

Health Watch

No current injury concerns. 

Braydon Trindall will be looking to cement his spot in the number 6 jersey for the Sharks in 2024.
Braydon Trindall will be looking to cement his spot in the number 6 jersey for the Sharks in 2024. ©NRL Images

Positional battle to watch 

Following Matt Moylan's departure, Braydon Trindall is set to have the first opportunity to cement his spot in the No.6 jersey, continuing on from the end of last season where he played seven of Cronulla’s last eight matches alongside Nicho Hynes. While Trindall is a talent in his own right, the Caboolture Snakes junior and Hynes will have to work on finding their rhythm together as a halves partnership.

The options are somewhat limited but the Sharksdo have some other contenders pressing to play, including Kade Dykes who is returning from an ACL injury. A handy utility back who is more seen as a fullback, Dykes has played at five-eighth for an extended period in the NSW Cup, while former Storm man Daniel Atkinson spent the majority of the 2023 season playing five-eighth with Newtown Jets.

The club also have former junior Panther Niwhai Puru who played halfback alongside Atkinson at the Jets. Although primarily a hooker, Jayden Berrell could also fill in in the halves, having played as both a six and seven in Queensland Cup with Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

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.

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