Wind the clock back one month and the Sharks were unstoppable. They were Premiership favourites honing in on a record winning streak. They were looking like Bruce from Jaws, terrorising the opposition and causing mayhem wherever they went.
Fast forward to now and the Sharks are looking more like a stale box of fish fingers.
Since their draw against the Titans, the Sharks have trundled out some awful efforts. The worst of them all was a 32-18 smack down at the hands of arch nemesis Dragons.
Flanno certainty has his work cut out.
So where has it all gone wrong? And is this simply another Cronulla choke?
The “choker” tag may seem a little unfair. However the reality is that nearly fifty years without a Premiership is not good enough. Particularly when you have some of the superstars the Sharks have been gifted with.
The Sharks have had a few injury issues but at this late stage of the season, so do all the other clubs. The intensity and sharpness that we saw for most of the season seems to be lacking. Sharks enforcer Andrew “The Metre Eater” Fifita says the Sharks players are not too worried about their recent form.
“Any team that goes 15 wins in a row, there is no need to panic. We’ve still got two games to go, we’ve got players coming back from injury … it’s an exciting time.” said Fifita.
Winger Valentine Holmes shares the view of his teammate when speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald. “It doesn’t matter really how you go into the finals because you have to perform your best in the finals,” Holmes said.
“We could have won every single game and it still doesn’t matter. It’s how you perform in finals that counts.”
Holmes is right however the Sharks have made things difficult for themselves. They face the Storm away in the final match of the season. If they drop that, they risk losing second spot to the Raiders which will result in a first final away to Canberra.
Canberra are Cronulla’s bogey team and they are red hot. A loss in the first final to Canberra and we all know what can happen next, a straight sets finals exit beckons for the Sharks. It’s time for Gal and his men to make a stand and make 2016 a year to remember for the Sharks’ loyal and long suffering fans.
The Shire needs a Premiership not another ‘could have been’ forgettable season.
by Michael T. Lynch – contributor