Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks logo.svg
Club information
Full nameCronulla-Sutherland
District Rugby League
Football Club Ltd
Nickname(s)Sharks
Colours     Sky blue
     White
     Black
Founded1963 as Cronulla-Caringbah
1967 in New South Wales Rugby League
Websitesharks.com.au
Current details
Ground(s)
CoachJohn Morris
CaptainPaul Gallen, Wade Graham
CompetitionNational Rugby League
2018 season4th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Uniforms
Home colours
Records
Premierships1 (2016)
Runners-up3 (1973, 1978, 1997 (SL))
Minor premiership2 (1988, 1999)
Wooden spoons3 (1967, 1969, 2014)
Most capped328 - Andrew Ettingshausen
Highest points scorer1,255 - Steve Rogers

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are an Australian professional rugby league team based in Cronulla, in the Sutherland Shire, Southern Sydney, New South Wales.

They compete in the National Rugby League (NRL), Australasia's premier rugby league competition. The Sharks, as they are commonly known, were admitted to the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, predecessor of the Australian Rugby League and the current National Rugby League competition, in January 1967. The club competed in every premiership season since then and, during the Super League war, joined the rebel competition before continuing on in the re-united NRL Premiership. The Sharks have been in competition for 50 years, appearing in four grand finals, winning their first premiership in 2016 after defeating the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium.

History[edit]

In 1967 the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) added two new clubs to the competition, Cronulla-Sutherland and Penrith, the first to join the competition since Parramatta and Manly were admitted 20 years earlier in 1947.

Cronulla debuted in 1967 wearing a sky blue jersey adorned with a white V and red numbers on the back, at the then club home ground of Sutherland Oval, under the captaincy of multiple premiership-winner Monty Porter and the coaching of Ken Kearney. Cronulla earned immediate recognition when they beat Eastern Suburbs at the Sydney Sports Ground in their first match. They had only two more wins, against Norths and Parramatta, and finished last on the competition table.

In mid-1968 the club moved permanently to Endeavour Field at Woolooware, and became the only club in Sydney to own their own ground. Their first match there was against Parramatta and the Cronulla Sharks won 10–7.

1970s[edit]

Cronulla made their first grand final in 1973 against Manly Warringah losing 10-7. Cronulla met the Sea Eagles again in the 1978 grand final, leading 7–2 well into the second half, before Manly came back and brought the scoreboard to 7-11. It took a late penalty goal from Steve Rogers to level scores at 11-all by full-time. The replay saw the Sharks opportunity pass by as they fielded a much-weakened team due to further injuries, eventually being shut-out by Manly 16–0. Cronulla were without suspended stars Greg Pierce and Dane Sorensen in both games, while hooker John McMartin, fullback Mick Mullane and Barry Andrews were all injured for the replay.

1980s[edit]

Cronulla suffered major financial trouble in 1983, with the NSWRL appointing an administrator and providing a loan. Western Suburbs and Newtown, both in a similar predicament, were refused a loan, with Newtown being forced out of the competition. Cronulla also made the final of the mid-week KB Cup, but lost again to Manly, 26–6.

In 1985, Cronulla was buoyed by the arrival of 'super coach' Jack Gibson, who had coached Easts and Parramatta to premierships. Gibson left the club in good shape in 1987, with the promise fulfilled in 1988 when Cronulla won the minor premiership, led by veteran second-rower Gavin Miller, who was named Dally M Player of the Year, and Rothmans Medal winning halfback, Barry Russell. However, Russell dislocated his shoulder two weeks before the finals, and missed the semi-final where Cronulla went down to Canterbury. He was rushed back in for the final against Balmain, but he was severely hampered by the injury, and Cronulla were bundled out. A bright spot for the Sharks, though, was the selection in the Australian team of Miller, and young centres, Ettingshausen and Mark McGaw.

In 1989, Cronulla sneaked into the finals after thrashing Illawarra 46–14 in the final round, followed by a memorable 38–14 victory over the Brisbane Broncos in the play-off for fifth position. However, they could not repeat the performance in their semi-final against eventual premiers Canberra, in what was their third game in seven days. Gavin Miller was rewarded for another great year with both the Dally M Player of the Year award and the Rothmans Medal.

1990s[edit]

Cronulla again dropped into a period of poor form and financial trouble in 1990, but the appointment as coach of rugby league Immortal, Arthur Beetson, in 1992 helped turn the on-field problems around. He helped develop a batch of promising players, including five-eighth Mitch Healey, fullback David Peachey, winger Richie Barnett, prop Adam Ritson, and hooker Aaron Raper, son of another Immortal, Johnny Raper. However, Cronulla were forced into receivership in 1993.

Beetson was replaced as coach in 1994 by John Lang, a former Australian hooker, and coach of the Brisbane Easts team. Lang brought halfback, Paul Green, down from Brisbane with him. A golden age for the club had begun, signalled by the two lower grade teams (President's Cup and Reserve grade) winning their competitions. During John Lang's coaching period, from 1994 to 2001, Cronulla made the semi-finals every year except for 1994 and 1998. The club had a glamorous image and attracted record crowds, with a corresponding financial improvement.

In 1995, Cronulla were one of the first clubs to join the Super League competition, which kicked off after protracted legal battles and much bitterness, in 1997. The club was motivated by a dissatisfaction with the perceived favouritism of the NSWRL administration towards other clubs, and a still-risky financial situation.

They reached the inaugural – and only – grand final of the ten-team Super League competition, only to lose to a vastly superior Brisbane side 26–8 in Brisbane. The game was notable for being the only grand final to be played outside Sydney. The club rejoined the reunited National Rugby League competition in 1998.

In 1999, Cronulla won the minor premiership and the J. J. Giltinan Shield in convincing fashion. The Sharks easily accounted for the Brisbane Broncos in the quarter-final, and led 8–0 in the grand final qualifier against the St George Illawarra Dragons before eventually losing 8–24. Also in 1999, the Cronulla-Sutherland name was dropped, and the club was simply known as the "Sharks", and would be known as this until the end of 2002.

2000s[edit]

Cronulla lost the grand final qualifier in similar circumstances in 2001, to eventual premiers Newcastle. The year was marked by the sudden rise of halfback Preston Campbell, who was named Dally M Player of the Year, despite being a fringe first grader at the start of the season.

In 2002, John Lang was replaced by Australian coach Chris Anderson, who had led Canterbury Bulldogs and Melbourne Storm to premierships. The following two years were the most acrimonious in the club's history. The first year was almost an on-field success, as Anderson retained the core of John Lang's team, and the Sharks again reached the grand final qualifier. However another heartbreaking loss to New Zealand, the replacement of halfback Preston Campbell – a crowd favourite – with former Melbourne halfback Brett Kimmorley, and a string of released players signaled trouble for 2003.

This was realised with the sudden mid-season departure of long-time stalwarts Nick Graham and Dean Treister. The Sharks finished 11th, suffering a record 74–4 loss to Parramatta in a match marred by the controversial performance of referee Shayne Hayne. Three Cronulla players were sent from the field, including Sharks captain David Peachey, for ignoring the referee's instructions. Constant infighting between the board and the coach led to Anderson's departure at the end of the season.

The same year the club's name reverted to Cronulla-Sutherland, Chris Anderson was replaced by Stuart Raper, another son of Johnny Raper, and the coach of the President's Cup-winning team in 1994. A loyal clubman, he instantly brought a revival in club and supporter spirit. However, Raper's apparent focus on team harmony rather than results led to Cronulla's win percentage worsening, from 49% (24 wins 27 losses) under Anderson, to 43% (31 wins 42 losses).

Steve Rogers, the CEO of the Cronulla Sharks and a former club legend, died on 3 January 2006 at the age of 51 of a "mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol". In April, 2006, the NSW state coroner ruled that the death was accidental.

On 21 April 2006, after much work and lobbying carried out by then-Chairman Barry Piece and Sharks board member Brian Quinn, Peter Costello on behalf of the Federal Government announced they would be funding a $9.6 million upgrade to Toyota Park. The funds were primarily used to construct the Southern Stand which was later named the Monty Porter Stand.

Cronulla finished the 2006 season in disastrous fashion. After winning 8 out of 9 games in the middle of the season and climbing to near the top of the ladder, the team experienced the worst losing streak in the club's history, losing their last 10 consecutive games. In a see-sawing match to finish to a tumultuous season, the Sharks in their final game coming back from 26–0 down only to lose 26–24 to Canberra. A missed penalty goal in the dying seconds of the match would have sent the game into extra-time, allowing the chance for Cronulla to equal the biggest single-game comeback in the history of top-level rugby league in Australia.

On 22 September 2006, the Sharks Board ended weeks of speculation over the future of Coach Stuart Raper by sacking him as first-grade coach and handing him a sizeable payout, making him the second consecutive coach to receive such a payout. On 26 September, Australian Test Coach Ricky Stuart signed a three-year deal to coach the Sharks as of 2007, replacing Raper.

Sharkies Leagues Club

Round one of the 2007 season saw the Sharks break their 10-game losing streak against the Penrith Panthers with an 18–0 victory at Toyota Park. Ricky Stuart led the Sharks to fifth on the ladder at the halfway mark of the season but towards the end of the season Cronulla plunged to 15th on the league ladder, slumping to seven straight losses. The season ended with the Sharks in 11th place, rounding off a heartbreaking season, with the club losing no less than nine matches by 4 points or less.

The Sharks had a strong season in 2008, finishing the season in equal first spot (third on for and against). They had one of the best defensive records, but one of the worst attacking records in the league. They had an excellent start to the season, beating defending grand finalists Manly and premiers Melbourne in away games in the first two rounds. After a comprehensive 36–10 victory over Canberra in the Qualifying Final at Toyota Stadium, Cronulla were beaten 28–0 by Melbourne (who later were found to be over the salary cap and cheating) in the Preliminary Final at the Sydney Football Stadium. This was a disappointing end to an otherwise successful season.

Cronulla attack Manly in August 2009

During the 2009 season Cronulla's dire financial problems became public knowledge. Asset-rich, owning its stadium and the surrounding land, but with cash flow problems due to its low average home gate and poor on-field performances in recent seasons, the club announced plans for a partial relocation to the Central Coast, which was rebuffed by the NRL. It was to split home games for the 2010–14 seasons among:

A Four Corners investigation aired in May 2009 which highlighted Sharks players' involvement in a group sex scandal on a pre-season tour in 2002.[1] The club slid further into crisis when it also emerged that CEO Tony Zappia allegedly punched a female staff member and, along with coach Ricky Stuart, attempted to bully the female staff member into retracting her complaint [2]

Zappia and Stuart were also investigated for their role around unusual financial transactions with Clint Elford, a fan who falsely claimed to be terminally ill, who sent money to Zappia and Stuart to spend on the Sharks.[3] Elford was subsequently found guilty of fraud and Stuart refused to answer questions when the NRL launched an investigation.[4] CEO Tony Zappia was investigated and subsequently sacked for his role.

On May 26, 2009 businessman Damian Irvine, together with a fresh board of directors, took over control of the club as the St George bank were threatening to foreclose.

They recorded 9 straight losses after a win in Round 1 in 2009 and despite a midseason revival with four straight wins, the Cronulla side slipped to ten straight defeats to equal the club's worst losing streak. One of these losses caused great controversy as the Sharks, playing against Manly, were forced to field just 12 men for most of the game after Luke Douglas was sent off by referee Phil Haines for a careless high tackle. The Sharks managed to avoid the wooden spoon in 2009 when the Roosters were soundly beaten by the Cowboys in the final round, resulting in a lower overall standing than the Sharks.

2010s[edit]

The start of the 2010 season saw the Sharks return confident of turning around recent disappointing results, however on-field performance remained poor. After the board developed a plan to refinance debt and a long term financial strategy, CEO Richard Fisk resigned in June 2010 due to his failure to find common ground with Chairman Irvine and his Board and a failure by Fisk to refresh the commercial area of the club.

Promising wing/centre Blake Ferguson was criticised for comments about wanting to leave the club in order to achieve success. On Tuesday, 20 July Ricky Stuart left the Sharks for the rest of the season after admitting he could get no more out of the players and had "lost" them. He was replaced by assistant NSW and Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan.

The 2011 season started so promising for the club. The addition of Wade Graham at five-eighth and New Zealand international Jeremy Smith to a pack already containing two origin players promised an end to the Sharks' status as cellar-dwellers. In a mixed season, the club finished 12th on the Premiership Table with 7 wins and 17 losses.

Cronulla lost their two props for the 2012 season, Origin representative Kade Snowden to Newcastle and Luke Douglas signing for the Gold Coast Titans. Captain Paul Gallen's transformation into an Origin prop alleviated this problem somewhat, and the Sharks were active in the player market, notably signing former Dally M Player of the Year Todd Carney and Wests Tigers prop Andrew Fifita, the latter of which would prove a crucial signing for future success.

The club won six matches in a row for the first time in over a decade and after eight rounds were sitting third on the table as the highest placed Sydney based franchise. The club capped their turnaround in form by qualifying for their first finals series in four years, losing to Canberra in week one. The match notable for seeing Paul Gallen outplayed by young rival Josh Papalli and Todd Carney injuring his achilles.

At the beginning of Season 2013, the ASADA supplements scandal threatened to throw the club back into the chaotic days of 2009. However results on the field were positive, buoyed by the recruitment of Chris Heighington and Luke Lewis who would play instrumental roles in the club's first premiership. Coach Flanagan led Cronulla to the semi finals, before he was forced to serve a 9-month suspension handed down by the NRL for breaches of basic governance and duty of care practices.

Peter Sharp took over the reins with his tenure in charge including club's greatest comeback victory. The team came from 22 nil down to beat the Brisbane Broncos 24-22. Following that win, a photo went viral of Sharks playmaker Todd Carney pretending to urinate into his own mouth. Just one day after Carney was stood down by the Sharks CEO Steve Noyce, Sharp resigned as interim head coach and was replaced by James Shepherd.

The 2014 season saw a myriad of struggles for the Sharks on the field, with injuries and the suspension of five players involved in the supplements scandal of 2011, missing games at the back end of the season. The Sharks finished 2014 with the wooden spoon.

In 2015, coach Flanagan returned from his suspension and led the club up the ladder to eventually finish 6th with two wins over eventual minor premiers Sydney Roosters and 2014 premiers South Sydney Rabbitohs.

2016: First Premiership[edit]

The 2016 season started with a 20-14 loss over reigning premiers North Queensland Cowboys. After a disappointing loss to Manly Sea Eagles in round 3, a "heart to heart meeting" of recent signings Ben Barba, Michael Ennis, James Maloney and returning local junior Chad Townsend[5] lead the team to a fifteen-game winning streak. This was the largest win streak in the club's history. During this period the Sharks equaled their largest win score by defeating the Newcastle Knights 62-0.

In a final-round showdown for the Minor Premiership and J.J Giltinan Shield, the Melbourne Storm defeated the Sharks 26-6 which sent the club to third place on the Premiership Ladder. In week one of the finals, despite losing captain Paul Gallen before kick-off and vice-captain Wade Graham to injury within the first ten minutes, the club defeated the Canberra Raiders in Canberra and earned a week off. Advancing to the Preliminary Final, a game that Cronulla had fail to progress past in four attempts, the club defeated North Queensland at Allianz Stadium to progress to their first Grand Final appearance since 1997.

Despite going into the game as underdogs, the Sharks would defeat the Melbourne Storm in a gripping 14-12 affair to claim their first premiership in the club's 50-year history. Second rower Luke Lewis was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as Man of the Match.

In their first appearance in the World Club Challenge (the club appeared in the expanded 1997 tournament but did not progress to the final), a depleted Sharks team lost to Super League Champions Wigan before the beginning of the 2017 season.

Following the 2016 victory, the club would experience high turnover in key positions. Ben Barba, who scored a try in the club's Grand Final victory, was sacked from the club after testing positive for cocaine after the season had ended. Hooker Michael Ennis would retire from rugby league, five-eighth James Maloney left the club for the Penrith Panthers in 2017 and star outside back Valentine Holmes pursued a career in the NFL following the 2018 season.

These losses were offset by the recruitment of Test players Shaun Johnson, Matt Moylan and Josh Dugan. Paul Gallen indicated his desire to retire after the 2019 season with Wade Graham promoted to co-captain of the club.

Off-field, a residential and commercial development of the land surrounding their stadium and Leagues Club promises to provide a steady income to the club in the future. Despite this, the Sharks were forced to change their business model at the conclusion of 2018 in order to curb spending and pay off debts before the development income starts rolling in.[6][7][8]

Emblem, colours, and song[edit]

For Cronulla's maiden season in first grade a teal jersey with a white V was adopted from the Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club despite Cronulla's chocolate and gold design in the Sydney 2nd Division competition. The team colours of black, white and teal changed to sky blue, with grey being incorporated during Super League, and shortly after on the team's away strip.

The club wasn’t known as the Sharks until after its initial admission into the competition. During Cronulla's first season the crest featured a drawing of Captain Cook's ship, HM Bark Endeavour. It is alleged[citation needed] that during the first season the club President suggested the 'Lions' while the captain Ken Kearney recommended the 'Sharks'. The mascot may have been named after the Cronulla Surf Club's rugby league teams of the 1970s.

From the late 1970s through to the late 1990s, the Sharks used a predominantly black circular crest with a blue shark. This was changed after Super League in 1997 to a blue and white star-shaped design. Between 1999–2002, the name was shortened to simply the "Sharks"[citation needed]. Since 2003, the name has since been changed back to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and changed their logo again in 2004, which is currently in use.

Cronulla's club song is known as Up Up Cronulla, and is set to the tune of Beer Barrel Polka.

Stadium[edit]

When the Sharks entered the competition in 1967, they played their home games at Sutherland Oval. They only played there for two seasons with the Sharks winning their first game at the ground on 22 April [1967 NSWRFL season]. The record attendance for Sutherland Oval was set in the last Cronulla game played at the ground when 12,578 saw the Sharks go down 32–4 to [Canterbury Bankstown, then known as the Berries, now Bulldogs] on 16 June [1968 NSWRFL].[9] Overall, the Sharks compiled a record of 4 wins, 11 losses and 1 draw at the venue.[10]

In 1969, they then moved to Endeavour Field, where they have remained. This home ground has had numerous names over the years including Ronson Field, Shark Park, Toyota Park and until the end of 2012, Toyota Stadium. In 2013, it returned to the original name Endeavour Field. On 4 July 2013, the Cronulla Sharks announced their new stadium naming rights partner Remondis, an international waste solutions and management company.

In 2016 a new sponsorship deal for naming rights was signed with Southern Cross Group to name the stadium Southern Cross Group Stadium. The new partnership with Southern Cross Group (SCGroup) is a three-year deal, reportedly worth $1.5 million.

Southern Cross Group Stadium has a capacity of 22,000 people with the record attendance of 22,302 being set for a game against local rivals the St George Illawarra Dragons on 1 May 2004 [11]

Sharkies Leagues Club[edit]

Sharkies Leagues Club

The Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club is known as Sharkies, and is located on Captain Cook Drive at Woolooware. The leagues club sits beside the Cronulla Sutherland home ground, Endeavour Field.

Proposals to develop the land assets of the Leagues Club which owns the stadium and land around Endeavour Field stumbled for many years prior to arrival of businessman Damian Irvine. In partnership with head of finance Craig Douglas the plans finally became more tangible, as details of a residential and shopping centre were released. In August 2012, the club received final approval for their plans solving a 40-year-old problem of financial instability.

2019 Squad[edit]

Cronulla Sharks 2019 Squad
First team squad Development players Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach


Legend:
  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured

Updated: 11 February 2019
Source(s): Sharks 2019 Squad

2019 Signings/Transfers[edit]

Gains

Losses -

Players[edit]

Sharks Immortals[edit]

The club has honoured five individuals as "Immortals" of the club:[12]

Representative players[edit]

Club captains[edit]

Club Icons[edit]

Dream Team[13][edit]

Announced 2006

No. Position Player
1 Australia FB David Peachey
2 Australia WG Mat Rogers
3 Australia CE Steve Rogers
4 Australia CE Andrew Ettingshausen
5 Australia WG Ray Corcoran
6 Australia FE Michael Speechley
7 England HB Tommy Bishop
8 Australia PR Jason Stevens
9 Australia HK Ron Turner
10 England PR Cliff Watson
11 Australia SR Ken Maddison
12 Australia SR Gavin Miller
13 Australia LK Greg Pierce
No. Position Player
14 New Zealand RE Dane Sorensen
15 Australia RE Steve Kneen
16 Australia RE Brett Kimmorley
17 Australia RE Jonathon Docking

Team of the Half Century[14][edit]

Announced 2017

No. Position Player
1 Australia FB David Peachey
2 Australia WG Mat Rogers
3 Australia CE Steve Rogers
4 Australia CE Andrew Ettingshausen
5 Australia WG Valentine Holmes
6 Australia FE James Maloney
7 England HB Tommy Bishop
8 England PR Cliff Watson
9 Australia HK Michael Ennis
10 New Zealand PR Dane Sorensen
11 Australia SR Greg Pierce
12 Australia SR Gavin Miller,
13 Australia LK Paul Gallen (c)
No. Position Player
14 Australia RE Andrew Fifita
15 Australia RE Brett Kimmorley
16 Australia RE Steve Kneen
17 Australia RE Jason Stevens

Club Legends[edit]

Announced 2003

Award winners[edit]

Dally M Medal[edit]

Rothmans Medal[edit]

Club Player of the Year (Monty Porter Medal)[edit]

Clive Churchill Medal[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

The current head coach of the club is John Morris.

Coaches register[edit]

Rivalries[edit]

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles[edit]

This rivalry has been dubbed the "Battle of the Beaches", due to the geographical locations of the two clubs. Manly played the Sharks in two grand finals: 1973 and 1978, which are renowned for being the most brutal in history. Manly won both of these deciders, 10-7 in 1973 and 16-0 in the 1978 replay after the first game ended at 11-all. The Sea Eagles have traditionally had much success over the Sharks, with Cronulla winning at Manly's home ground just five times in their history. However the Sharks' biggest ever win came against Manly, a 68-6 thrashing in 2005. Cronulla and Manly play for the Steve Rogers Trophy when the two clubs meet in the NRL premiership each season. Most recently the two teams met in the 2013 finals, when Manly held off Cronulla by 24-18.

Penrith Panthers[edit]

Another rivalry is with fellow debutants from 1967, the Penrith Panthers. Despite both teams struggling in their early years of existence, they would always lift the intensity whenever they met, especially when both teams were near the bottom of the ladder. Not much was made of their clashes until recent years, when both clubs started regularly taking each other's playing stock. Cronulla have purchased stars from the Penrith club including Paul Aiton, Michael Gordon, Wade Graham, Sione Katoa, Jeremy Latimore, Luke Lewis, Matt Moylan, Junior Paulo, and James Segeyaro. Penrith have in turn bought stars from the Cronulla club over the years including Preston Campbell, Shannon Donato, Paul Franze, Craig Greenhill, Martin Lang, James Maloney, Tyrone Peachey, and David Simmons. In 2018, the two clubs finally had their first meeting in a finals match with Cronulla winning 21-20.

St. George Illawarra Dragons[edit]

Cronulla's fiercest rivalry is with their Southern Sydney neighbor, St. George Illawarra Dragons. The age of the St. George club has often seen Cronulla labeled as the 'little brother' to the Dragons, further emphasized by the Dragons merger with Illawarra Steelers in 1998, effectively surrounding the Cronulla-Sutherland region geographically. Despite this the head-to-head match-up between the two clubs is surprisingly even. The two teams always lift the intensity when they meet, which has led to some classic matches over the years. In 1999, the Sharks had won the minor premiership and looked like cruising to the grand final, before the Dragons scored 24 unanswered second half points to win 24-8. They would meet again in the finals in 2002, with Cronulla winning 40-24, and again in 2005 when the Dragons won 28-22.

Melbourne Storm[edit]

A fairly recent rivalry that intensified in the 2016 grand final which was won by Cronulla. In late 2007, the Sharks were on course to break a 6 match losing streak until a Cooper Cronk field goal saw them lose 16-17. Round 2 of 2008 saw the sides meet at Olympic Park in Melbourne, and Cronulla were able to reverse the result by the same scoreline via a Brett Kimmorley field goal. The match was marred by an ugly brawl which saw Cronulla's Ben Ross and Melbourne's Brett White sent from the field. It was the only loss the Storm suffered at home during the 2008 regular season. The two sides met again in the preliminary final where the Storm, despite missing captain Cameron Smith to suspension, smashed the Sharks 28-0 to advance to the grand final against Manly-Warringah. Melbourne Storm begun the 2012 season with 9 straight victories, before a Paul Gallen-less Sharks pipped them 12-10 thanks to a Jeremy Smith try and clutch conversion from Todd Carney. It looked like Cronulla would land two wins over the Storm that year, leading 18-10 with 90 seconds to go in the second game between the sides. The Storm somehow scored twice to win 20-18. The rivalry was reignited in late 2015 when Melbourne beat Cronulla 30-2 in spiteful circumstances. Sharks coach Shane Flanagan accused Melbourne of slowing down the game with their wrestling tackle technique. The loss meant that Melbourne leap-frogged the Sharks into 4th place heading into the finals. Again the Sharks handed Melbourne their first loss of the 2016 season, winning the round 4 clash 14-6. It was the first match in Cronulla's record-breaking 15 match winning streak. The two sides would meet in the final round of the regular season with the winner taking out the minor premiership. The Storm won 26-6 and took out the JJ Giltinan Shield. However, the Cronulla Sharks would win the biggest game ever between the two sides 4 weeks later, winning the 2016 grand final by 14-12 in a thriller. The two teams traded close wins in 2017, with Cronulla winning 11-2 at AAMI Park before Melbourne returned serve with an 18-13 victory at Southern Cross Group Stadium. 2018 saw the Sharks win both encounters with the Storm during the regular season, yet despite this, lost to them in the preliminary final 22 to 6. The match featured a controversial moment when Storm player Billy Slater made an illegal tackle on Sharks winger Sosaia Feki while he was in the act of scoring, therefore constituting a professional foul. Slater managed to avoid the Sin Bin despite being penalised for the action, as well as avoiding suspension, with the NRL judiciary controversially ruling that the tackle did not constitute a shoulder charge.

Player rivalries have also spawned from the matchup as well as from State of Origin, with Paul Gallen and Will Chambers regularly clashing with each other in such matches.

Supporters[edit]

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks receive support from groups of fans, including the "Cronulla-Sutherland Supporters Club",[15][16] supporter's website "Sharks Forever", and fan forum "Sharks Forever".[17]

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks fans became widely known for the 'Spirit Fingers', when someone has a Place kick.[18]

Notable Celebrity Supporters of the club include;

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Woman tells of Matthew Johns incident". Newcastle Herald. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  2. ^ Magnay, Jacquelin (2009-06-09). "Stuart faces claims as Zappia stands down". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  3. ^ "Mystery Cronulla Donor".
  4. ^ "Donor Arrested".
  5. ^ Parkinson, Andrew (2016-05-05). "Townsend ready to take rep chance". St George & Sutherland Shire Leader. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  6. ^ https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/teams/sharks/cronulla-have-lost-three-sponsors-heading-into-the-2019-season-and-will-be-forced-to-wear-bare-jerseys/news-story/a7168293e530810cc589ce117a159660
  7. ^ https://www.sportingnews.com/au/league/news/andrew-fifita-buzz-rothfield-josh-dugan-podcast-cronulla/1ued2hlrxo24w10opou8w8x76p
  8. ^ "NRL 2018: Cash-strapped Cronulla Sharks sack 10 staff, CEO Barry Russell | Fox Sports". www.foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  9. ^ Cronulla vs Canterbury - NSWRFL 1968
  10. ^ Sutherland Oval at Rugby League Project
  11. ^ Cronulla vs St George Illawarra - NRL 2004
  12. ^ Statistics / Club Records Archived 22 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine at sharks.com.au
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ http://www.sharks.com.au/news/2017/03/03/sharks_name_team_of_.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ http://www.cronullasupporters.com/
  16. ^ http://www.thecssc.com.au/
  17. ^ http://www.sharksforever.com/
  18. ^ http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/nrl/tis-the-end-of-the-season-to-be-jolly/news-story/ad08d6995a240a828f0486b0e334daa0

External links[edit]