Ladder Position: 12th
Points Scored: 195
Points Conceded: 236
State of Play
Fa’amanu Brown- ACL- indefinite but likely season ending
Kyle Stanley- ACL- indefinite but likely season ending
Jacob Gagan- Ruptured Achilles- Season ending
Anthony Tupou- Broken Jaw- indefinite
Ben Barba- Ribs- Round 16
Season to Date
The Cronulla Sharks started the season dismally, slipping to four straight losses to begin 2015. At the mid-point, however, they have made somewhat of a resurgence, thanks largely to two upset wins over the highly favoured Roosters in round 5 and round 12. They have also claimed the scalps of Newcastle, South Sydney and the Titans along the way.
What has cost the side is a number of close losses, including an intercept try for the Titans in their first encounter in the dying moments, and a Shaun Johnson try for the Warriors to steal the points in round 9. Reverse those late fades, and Cronulla would have found themselves entrenched in the top eight, such is the closeness of the competition.
A negative has been the failure of Ben Barba to capture his best form, the fullback finding the going difficult as he struggles to find the speed that made him so elusive in season’s past.
A big positive going into the back half of the season is the signing of major long term sponsors “Southern Radiology” to fill that blank spot on the Cronulla jersey.
Going forward, Cronulla have a platform to work with in the second half of the season, and their win against the Roosters showed they can beat anyone on their day, if they can get in to the grind. Once again scoring points has been an issue, and this must be addressed. They should look to big brother St. George, however, and take confidence that a staunch defence will lead to a flow in points later on.