Cronulla Sharks

All blog posts relating to the Cronulla Sharks

Cronulla Sharks 2017 Preview

  • Signings & Losses
  • Player Rankings
  • Strongest 17
  • Close Results Record
  • The Professor’s Prediction
  • Your Prediction

 

Signings & Losses

Losses: Ben Barba (Released – FB), Michael Ennis (Retired – HK), Jesse Sene-Lefao (ESL – P), Matt McIlwrick (Wests – HK), David Fifita (ESL – P), Mitch Brown (ESL – W)

The premiership-winning spine has been split in two and will prove hard to replace. Barba was back to his best and was showing the quality that won him a Dally M. Ennis bought so many traits to the Sharks – aggression, intimidation, leadership, direction –  he will be most sorely missed of all the losses. The others losses are more in the depth department

Signings: Ben Barba (Free Agent – FB), Tony Williams (Canterbury – SR), Daniel Mortimer (Gold Coast – HK), Jeremy Latimore (Penrith – P), Manaia Cherrington (Wests – HK)

Wait… Ben Barba is back at the Sharks and will resume his position at fullback once his back from suspension! No, No he has left the game, the country and most importantly the defending premiers. Ennis hasn’t been replaced with a top quality hooker but Flanagan will be hoping the addition of both Mortimer & Cherrington will create healthy competition along with local juniors Fa’amanu Brown and Jayden Brailey. T-Rex will be hoping for a new lease of life at the Sharks having failed to live up to expectations at the Bulldogs. Latimore will contest both Heighington and Tagataese for a spot on the bench.

 

Player Rankings

Player Age 2016 Position 2016 Games Played 2016 Position Rank
Ricky Leutele 27 C 19 18
Jack Bird 22 C 26 23
Gerard Beale 27 C 23 28
Fa’amanu Brown 23 FE 4 6
James Maloney 31 FE 25 11
Chad Townsend 26 HB 27 18
Daniel Mortimer 28 HK 7 20
Manaia Cherrington 23 HK 5 42
Jayden Brailey 21 HK DNP DNP
Paul Gallen 36 LK 20 1
Joseph Paulo 29 LK 20 22
Andrew Fifita 28 P 25 2
Matt Prior 30 P 25 28
Chris Heighington 34 P 26 57
Sam Tagataese 31 P 21 65
Jeremy Latimore 31 P 19 71
Jayden McDonogh 21 P DNP DNP
Jaimin Jolliffe 21 P DNP DNP
Wade Graham 27 SR 26 10
Luke Lewis 34 SR 26 25
Tony Williams 29 SR 19 40
Jayson Bukuya 28 SR 25 42
Kurt Capewell 24 SR 4 52
Jayden Walker 21 SR DNP DNP
Valentine Holmes 22 W 26 13
Sosaia Feki 26 W 24 30
Jordan Drew 22 W DNP DNP

 

Strongest 17

1. Valentine Holmes
2. Sosaia Feki
3. Jack Bird
4. Ricky Leutele
5. Gerard Beale
6. James Maloney
7. Chad Townsend
8. Andrew Fifita
9. Jayden Brailey
10. Matt Prior
11. Luke Lewis
12. Wade Graham
13. Paul Gallen

BENCH
14. Fa’amanu Brown
15. Chris Heighington
16. Tony Williams
17. Jayson Bukuya

Close Results Record

Wins: 6

Losses: 2

The Professor’s Prediction

Optimism is always high after winning a Premiership but as history shows backing that up, the following season is extremely difficult.

The sharkies have lost both Barba and Ennis who were both instrumental to the 2016 side. Barba is replaceable but leaves a gap on one wing but Ennis is near irreplaceable. The leadership and direction he brought to the Sharks can not be underestimated. Ennis’s ability to pick the right player at the right time was his biggest asset and whoever plays hooker – Mortimer, Brown or Brailey – will struggle with this task.

The forward pack is aging with 5 players from the top 17 turning 30 or older this season. These players command the ball (especially Gallen) and a young inexperienced player coming it at hooker will see the side struggle.

The Professor can’t see the reigning premiers making the 8 in 2017 without a capable hooker. News is breaking Segeyaro could be signed in the coming days. If this is the case straight away they become a top 8 side bordering the top 4.

Verdict – 9th

Your Prediction