Grand Final winners Cronulla Sharks’ 2016.
As far as an end to a perfect season goes, the Cronulla Sharks’ 2016 was as good as it got. The Sharks might have finished 3rd in the ladder but when history happened, they were there as the Grand Finals Champions.
As seasons go, 2016 was a pretty solid season and one that they could have been proud of without the finals trophy. 16 wins, 1 draw and 6 games lost. An impressive tally that was matched by Canberra and bested by goal difference only
Starting with the Finals, this was the moment that the Cronulla faithfully had been waiting 50 years to celebrate. A sensational finals game that the Sharks fought tooth and nail to take from the hands of an impressive Melbourne. A 14-12 game that set the record books running for the archives.
A massive 15 game winning streak more or less dominated the season, with a near perfect home record. 12 home games played with 11 wins under their belt made the Allianz Stadium a virtual fortress.
The season started slow with 2 defeats in 3 games, but then things turned and the performances were there. Melbourne Storm offered their biggest defeat as the Sharks lost 26-6.
Discipline plagued the Sharks all through 2016 as the Sharks conceded a staggering 190 penalties.
Golden Point games
There were just two this season and both ended in the points, yet the Titans game in round 21 went the distance and ended in a draw. A tough fixture that started a 3 week points drought.
Will 2017 be as good Cronulla Sharks’ 2016?
Doing the back to back will be tough in this league, but not impossible. Shane Flanagan has put in the effort and the team have responded in a way that can only herald bigger and better things in 2017.
Waiting 50 years to lift that trophy is an impossibly long time to wait, but we are sure that they will be up there next season fighting for the right to own it all again.
If Sosaia Feki and Ben Barba produce a similar show in 2017, then there is a better than even chance that they’ll get there.