Weren’t the Sharks supposed to be satisfied with one premiership?

Greg Prichard Columnist

By , Greg Prichard is a Roar Expert

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    Cronulla clearly haven’t had enough of winning premierships, which is how it should be when it takes you 50 years to win your first.

    It is still relatively early days this season, just seven rounds in, but the events of the past two rounds in particular suggest the Sharks could end the competition’s back-to-back premiership hoodoo.

    The last club to win to win consecutive titles in the same competition was, of course, Brisbane, in 1992-93.

    The Broncos won two in a row again in 1997-98, but this time in different competitions – the breakaway Super League and then the reunited NRL.

    The circumstances surrounding the Sharks winning last year and Brisbane in 1992 were mostly different, but there was one important factor they had in common.

    Like it was with Cronulla, the win by the Broncos was their first.

    Brisbane had that feel about them since entering the competition in 1988 that they were destined to win the premiership, so much so that even though it only took them five years to do it, they thought they should have done it sooner.

    The Sharks were the complete opposite. There was never the belief they were destined for greatness and although they played in a grand final as early as their seventh year, their history became that of the club that would occasionally go close, but never quite make it.

    Until last year, that was.

    When the Broncos won their first title, it was like it was meant to be – from the inside and the outside. They had no doubt the top of the mountain was their place, so they went out and won it again the following season.

    You can’t win it every year, but Brisbane have obviously been a major force ever since.

    None of the Cronulla players who went on to win last year were even alive when the club’s history of near-misses and good, but not quite good enough disappointments began, but they still faced the challenge of blocking out the noise.

    The talk from the outside was that it was, after all, the Sharks, so there was bound to be heartbreak in the end.

    But they pulled it off, and against a team, in Melbourne, that knew how to win the big games as well as any other side and better than most.

    James Maloney Cronulla Sharks NRL Finals 2016 Rugby League tall

    A lot of people seemed to think that would be enough for the Sharks for the time being; that the competition would naturally re-align itself this season and they would fall back to a level just below what was required to take it out.

    But there is no evidence of that happening at this stage and back-to-back wins on the road in which they have kept both the Storm and Penrith to two points apiece speaks volumes for their desire.

    It doesn’t have that feeling, like it did at Brisbane in 1993, that it was meant to be, but it doesn’t have to.

    As long as the Sharks believe it can be is enough, and they clearly do. The rest of it is all about hard work.

    It is an open competition that has thrown up some early-season surprises, but one of the real possibilities is that Cronulla are a genuine chance of making it two premierships in a row.

    Greg Prichard
    Greg Prichard

    Greg Prichard has spent all of his working life in the media, from way back when journalists were still using typewriters. He has covered rugby league, football, AFL and various other sports for News Limited and Fairfax newspapers and also worked for magazines, radio and pay television. Twitter: @gregprichard