Why the Sharks will make history
HUMBLE WORDS FROM skipper Paul Gallen, harsh words from coach Shane Flanagan directed at fullback Ben Barba: that’s my grand final advice to the Sharks, who have the ammunition to outscore the Storm this Sunday.
Gallen needs to instill into his players that the grand final is “not all about Gal”. He’s ruthless in all he achieves in life but he realises that he has 12 team-mates who are now running with as much energy and as much enthusiasm as him. Every Sharks player has the right to feel he is as vital as his skipper and produce his best.
Back-rowers Luke Lewis and Wade Graham can be as menacing as Gallen. Their running off the edge of the ruck will test the best defence in the business.
Coach Flanagan needs to get tough with fullback Barba and demand that his fullback gets at least 20 touches and doesn’t get lost, as he did against the Cowboys.
He appeared to be hanging around, waiting for something to happen. I recommend he makes it happen. He certainly has the skills to do just that.
Yes, Sharks for mine. Too much bounce and a forward pack tailormade to win a grand final.
I’m not in the business of feeling sorry for players, but Raiders winger Edrick Lee will be haunted for the rest of his life after bombing what should’ve been match-winning tries. Actually, I’m still wondering how the Storm won the game at AAMI Park. I’m the first to applaud their defence. There’s none better. But can they score enough points to worry the Sharks? I don’t think so. I also believe the Storm played their grand final against Canberra.
Are you blind, ref?
The “try” awarded to Cooper Cronk in the 31st minute of last Saturday’s do-or-die clash was a phony. Cooper never forced the ball yet the decision was left to the sole discretion of the referees. Pretty telling moment. The fake try gave the Storm an 8-6 lead. But the refs got it right when Raiders fullback Jack Wighton was sin-binned in the 59th minute for refusing to allow a quick play-the-ball.
Andrew, start letting your footy do your talking. Just shut up about who your close mates are. You don’t endear yourself to anybody, let alone Sharks fans, by repeatedly declaring your allegiance to people who don’t just fit into respectable society. You’re a terrific player, sometimes reminding me of Arthur Beetson with your straight running. You are 10 times the player when you run straight.
Are you blind, ref: Part 2
The pass James Maloney gave Chad Townsend was more forward than Dolly Parton’s chest but the Cowboys were never going to threaten. They saved their worst for last. A soft defence and one player who should never have been on the field due to a chronic back injury that led to the Sharks’ first try in the 22nd minute. Play injured and you run the risk of ridicule.
Just plane ridiculous
From the outset let me express my love and devotion to the opposite sex. But I nearly choked on my Vegemite toast last Sunday when I read page three of The Sunday Telegraph. On what’s supposedly a serious news page was a story revealing that female broadcasting personalities were forced to travel economy class while their male counterparts enjoyed the luxury of business. Poor diddums! I’d travel in the baggage compartment if it meant getting a gig to broadcast interstate. Was this really a news story? Who cares where anybody travels, as long as they’re on the team?
The big fella deserved more recognition than he received last week as coach of the PM’s side that beat PNG by plenty. He’s already instilled enormous passion back into the Aussie jersey and was rapt with the players’ attitude in a match they were always going to win easily. Don’t be surprised if you see Mitchell Pearce in the green and gold in the not too distant future.
GAL PALS Paul Gallen needs all his Sharks buddies to forget about ‘doing it for him’ and just rip in. Right: Cronk’s ‘ fake’ try hurt the Raiders.