2015 Key Signings: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Here’s our look at the 2015 Key Signings for the Cronulla- Sutherland Sharks
1. Michael Ennis
Michael Ennis was the first signing the Cronulla Sharks made in preparation for the 2015 season, and is their most important acquisition. The experienced dummy half will add creativity around the ruck, and mongrel to the Sharks side. His signing was a must for the Sharks, following the loss of youngster Michael Lichaa to the Bulldogs, Isaac De Gois to the Eels and John Morris to retirement. While some have questioned the age of Ennis, the former Bulldogs captain showed his worth last year in leading the Canterbury side to the grand final. He is a player that can unite a dressing room as well, a big bonus for a club like Cronulla that is recovering from major controversy. Players love to play alongside Ennis, and opposition hate to play against him.
2. Ben Barba
Rumours of Ben Barba exiting the Brisbane Broncos were circling for a while, and when they rang true, Cronulla fans rejoiced at the signing. A former Dally M medalist, Barba struggled to find his best form at the Broncos in 2014, however showed a late resurgence when shifted from fullback to five eight later in the season. The Sharks needed a replacement for the sacked Todd carney, and Barba looks set to fill that void well. With the experience of Jeff Robson calling the shots and organizing the play from half back, Barba should be allowed to play instinctively, letting him return to his best. Sharks fans may have to be patient with the speedster to begin with, as he builds combinations with his new team, but if he is nurtured in to his confident self by coach Shane Flanagan, the black, white and blue faithful will be rewarded.
3. Gerard Beale
Gerard Beale has shown his quality by being a consistent performer in a Dragons side that struggled in 2014. He is strong defensively, and has speed to burn, adding much needed potency to the Sharks backline. An area of major weakness for Cronulla last year was the centres, and the signing of Beale will go along way to fixing that up. Beale has scored 31 tries in his 92 first grade appearances, and is also a New Zealand international, bringing more class to the Shire side.
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