The Shire needs Smith over Lewis
Is it the new TV show ‘The Shire’ that has Cronulla worrying about their image rather than what’s going on on the rugby league field?
Or are all NRL teams sharing a big can of Shark repellent? I don’t know what’s going through your mind but Sunday’s performance by the Sharks was, to put it simply, lacklustre.
So surely it couldn’t be the inspiring effects of their captain Paul Gallen. The Sharks last won at Suncorp Stadium against an in form Broncos side without the Sharks (and Blues) captain.
Although both teams were missing their Origin stars, it still proved a gritty bash-em-up-type match with powerhouse performances by some Sharks players.
Fast forward to a draw with the Roosters, an eight-point loss to the Saints and now a 32-point loss to the Raiders, who apart from last week (Titans) have been claiming some high up scalps. What is the common factor in these losing games excluding the absence of Gallen? There was no Jeremy Smith.
Let’s consider Smith as the factor, and all this commotion around Luke Lewis coming to the club and the many other signings that Cronulla made this year.
Rumour has it that Smith may leave next year with one-year left on his contract, but is the New Zealand Test star the shining light that the Sharks need for that first glorious premiership?
Smith has already won two premierships, Melbourne Storm in 2007 and St. George Illawarra Dragons in 2010, and was an essential part of the Four Nations victory for NZ in 2010. So is this the player that Cronulla need to retain with his experience?
If so, I think Lewis would be a costly purchase at the loss of Smith. Too costly.
But if he stays the Sharks in 2013 will host three current Test level second rowers, and if they obtain a premiership, Smith will be a rare player who would achieve three premierships under three different clubs. Not to mention it would be the Sharks first ever premiership…
This weekend may see the return of Gallen and Smith, back into the fold from injury. If this doesn’t spark the side up I’d be searching Penrith Players bags for a can of Batman’s Shark repellent.
However, depending on how both players return, if Smith slips the boots on I believe it will be his leadership and winning nature that will bind the team and return the Sharks to their premiership contending form.