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'A force to be reckoned with': How are Fitzy's Sharks shaping up for 2022?

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Roar Rookie
26th July, 2021

The Sharks have stolen the headlines in the last 24 hours after landing Storm veteran Dale Finucane on a four-year, reported $2.5 million deal.

There were multiple clubs interested in Finucane however it is understood that he was after a long-term deal and many of the other clubs in the running could not adapt to Finucane’s needs. He is a trained leader, and a great pick-up for the Shire.

Matt Moylan has recently re-signed and added to that, they have signed a red-hot, in-form Nicho Hynes and Dragons star Cameron McInnes.

Are the Sharks a force to be reckoned with in 2022?

The sacking of John Morris came as a bit of a shock to many footy fans. While it was reported that he probably won’t be the coach come next season, he was allegedly told he would see out the year.

The board had other ideas and decided to bring in Craig Fitzgibbon from the Chooks, partnered with Josh Hannay, who has recently penned another contract to assist in 2022.

Craig Fitzgibbon

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Cronulla’s season has been a turbulent one. After 19 rounds they have managed nine wins and ten losses and sit seventh.

The Sharks have overcome adversity in recent years following many departures and overcoming the salary cap issues left behind in the Shane Flanagan era.


Morris took the Sharks to eighth place last season and seventh in 2019. Departures, for various reasons, include Valentine Holmes, Edrick Lee, Luke Lewis, Ava Seumanufagai, Matt Prior, Jayden Brailey, Jayson Bukuya, Paul Gallen, Josh Morris, Kurt Capewell, Sosaia Feki and Bronson Xerri.

This year, the word to describe the Sharkies is unpredictable. They have beaten teams such as Penrith and the Titans, but lost to the Dogs and Broncos.

Some in-form players that have come to light include Will Kennedy, Connor Tracey and Ronaldo Mulitalo.

In the halves, Moylan and Shaun Johnson have simply been too inconsistent to be labelled as having a decent season. Johnson is heading home in 2022 to join his home club, the NZ Warriors.

Chad Townsend has been shipped off the Warriors for the remainder of the season and he will subsequently join the North Queensland Cowboys.


Off contract for the Sharkies include Will Chambers, Josh Dugan, Jackson Ferris, Mawene Hiroti, Nene Macdonald, Billy Magoulias, Kyle Paterson, Aiden Tolman, Daniel Vasquez and Aaron Woods. Aaron Woods has been told he is unwanted next season, and possibly the same to Dugan if he does not take a chunky pay cut.

As Nicho Hynes shines at the Storm, and is forcing Ryan Papenhuyzen to fight to get the number one jersey back, it is likely he will be in the number six jersey next year.

Nicho Hynes

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Will Kennedy is being given a genuine shot at the permanent fullback role for the Sharks and his form this season suggests he may retain that position.

Currently, the Sharkies have no natural number seven. Rumours that Moylan will be moving into that halfback role are circulating but no one is certain as of yet.

There is no evidence McInnes will be replacing Blayke Brailey at hooker. In fact, Cronulla have put a lot of faith in Brailey.

There is a chance McInnes may be given the lock role, which also leaves Finucane out of his natural position. It is a slight conundrum for the Sharks’ coaching staff.

Where do you see the Sharks finishing come the end of the 2022 season?