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2022 SEASON REVIEW: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Chloe Schibeci reviews the 2022 Season of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks where they finished second on the ladder before exiting the finals series in week 2.

Stats

Wins: 18
Losses: 6
Most Tries: Ronaldo Mulitalo (17)
Most Points: Nicho Hynes (194)
Club Player of the Year: Nicho Hynes

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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks exceed any and all pre-season expectations set

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks exceeded any of the expectations set for them in the 2022 pre-season, finishing the season in second place, falling short against the Rabbitohs in the second week of the finals series, seeing their year come to an end. 

The 2022 season saw a few big changes to the Cronulla Sharks, the first being their head coach Craig Fitzgibbon, whose appointment was announced in April of 2021, commencing at the beginning of the 2022 season. It was a very successful first year as head coach, leading his team to a top two finish.

The second big change was Nicho Hynes. He made his Cronulla Sharks debut at the beginning of the 2022 season and was an invaluable contributor to the Sharks’ success. He did win the Dally M, after all. Other big recruits for 2022 were Dale Finucane and Cam McInnes, who were also important players for the Sharks throughout the year, being some of the most solid, most consistent in the playing group. 

The Sharks were consistent all season long. Their first match of the year was a loss to Canberra, before they won four games in a row. Between rounds 6 and 13, they found themselves in a very consistent win-loss-win-loss pattern.

After their bye round in 13, they came back strong and only lost one match between round 14 and the end of the regular season, which was in round 19 against the Penrith Panthers, who would go on to win the competition. 

A lot of pre-season expectations were proved wrong as the season progressed, as it particularly hard to pick how the Sharks (or any team, really) will perform each season. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the new recruits, particularly of Hynes. Though with that, in turn, was the concern of him, Finucane and McInnes being able to gel with the rest of the squad. For a few years now, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have had a fantastic team on paper but have not been able to form a solid structure, particularly with new recruits. This year, however, turned that around completely, and the Sharks were able to see the results. 

The end of the 2022 season also signals the end of Aiden Tolman and Andrew Fifita’s time in the black, white, and blue. Both will be missed by Sharks fans, particularly Fifita, who was a key player in their maiden premiership win in 2016. 

A lot of positive changes were made at the Cronulla Sharks in 2022, and it didn’t go unnoticed. Fans will be hoping for similar, if not better results in the 2023 season.

NothingButLeague Sharks Player of 2022: Nicho Hynes (35 – winner)

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Matches: 25
Tries: 6
Try Assists: 26
Points: 194
Tackle Bursts: 59
Kick Metres: 9,345

Other Points: 17 Siosifa Talakai; 8 Ronaldo Mulitalo; 7 Matt Moylan; 5 Briton Nikora, Lachlan Miller; 4 Braydon Trindall, Jesse Ramien, Sione Katoa; 2 Connor Tracey, Matt Ikuvalu, Royce Hunt, Will Kennedy; 1 Cam McInnes, Kayal Iro, Teig Wilton.

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NRL Season Review

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