They lost both of their front-line props in Luke Douglas and Kade Snowden, but with the recruitment of several new forwards to the Sharks – coach Shane Flanagan believes that his side’s forward pack can be an imposing force in season 2012.
With new props Andrew Fifita, Bryce Gibbs, Jon Green, Mark Taufua and Ben Ross all raring to go – Flanagan believes that when you mix that with the likes of Paul Gallen, Jeremy Smith, Anthony Tupou and Tyson Frizell, it makes for very strong forward pack.
“Forwards-wise we dominated teams and competed against the best teams in the comp with our forwards,” Flanagan said.
“This year I think we’re stronger again in the forwards.
“Those two players that we lost were quality, but we’ve got some real depth now.
“The five frontrowers we’ve brought into the club will more than compensate for the ones we lost.”
It is the experience of both Gibbs and Green, who have only recently played in NRL grand finals, that has Flanagan confident the turnover in players can be a solid gain for the Sharks.
“Jon Green did a great job for Wayne Bennett when the Dragons won the comp.
“He’s a real tradesman and he played outstanding (in our trial win over Manly).
“Gibbsy’s been in a successful Wests Tigers outfit for years. That’s massive experience for us.
“And young Fifita could be anything.”