The Cronulla Sharks are this years most talked about team, as they notched up their sixth consecutive win – moving to outright third after a 44-22 win over the Canberra Raiders, at Canberra Stadium.
Despite the win however, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan wants to ensure his side remains level-headed – labelling the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos as the competition frontrunners.
“No, I don’t think so,” he said.
“We’re doing a real good job at the moment but the testing times are ahead, when blokes like Gal (Paul Gallen) and Todd (Carney) are in Origin, to get results (then) as well.”
Although Sharks captain Paul Gallen cannot quite pinpoint as to why the side is going so well, he says that they plan to make the most of their recent run of form.
“It’s been 10 years since we’ve won six in a row,” he said.
“Far out, I don’t feel that old.
“But we’ve got to make the most of it – I said to Shane that we’ve got to drum into the young blokes that opportunities like this don’t come around all the time.”
With the Raiders currently standing at a 3-5 record, Raiders coach David Furner believed that although his side had the chances to put points on the Sharks – it was the Shire based club that adapted to the conditions and situations better.
“If you are starting to defend well at the start of the game, teams are going to go to the air and we just didn’t handle that,” Furner said.
“Their kicking game was spot on and at 28 points there in the first half, it’s hard to get a roll on then and possession in the end was too much for us.”
In what was the Raiders first game since five-eighth Terry Campese was ruled out for the year – the Raiders just did not seem to click, even with the late inclusion of livewire fullback, Josh Dugan.
Although they only have 3 wins, Raiders captain David Shillington believes that the side can still reverse their fortunes.
“Defensively today we probably didn’t have the best attitude, but there was plenty of great attacking sets,” he said.
“If we were more consistent, I think that’s an attitude thing we can turn around in a week.”