Why the Sharks will make his­tory

Rugby League Week - - News -

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 Fi­fita

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?

Mal Meninga

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.

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