Shark warning: history hates you

Isn’t dreadful knowing that it’s all going to end in tears out at Cronulla this year?

We know how things pan out at their site. It’s just a matter of when.

Will Paul and the Sharks reign? Probably not.

It might not be until round 15, round 26 or even the 77th minute of the decider. It might not happen until Paul Gallen’s internal computer bugs out or until Todd Carney breaches the 8 schooner mark. Whatever the means, there will be bawling in the Shire before season’s close.

Does making this statement mean I’m a Northies-hating negative nelly?

The answer to this is nay. I’m a compassionate human being with a heart; a man who would appreciate seeing the cruelty finish with them finally scaling rugby league’s apex. That way, a chunk of people in Sydney’s deep south can get on with living their lives sans the large greying baboon on their backs.  

But flicking through the pages of league history and studying the patterns she produces, you’ll know that cruelty lurks in Sutherland.

So far this year, Cronulla really look the business. Gallen is leading his band of no-frills merry men beautifully and Shark Park is bulging again. They’ve secured themselves a longed-for jersey sponsorship deal and there’s a public groundswell to get their games on Channel Nine.

Blue, black and white is the new black.

Old Sharks jerseys can be seen again walking the streets and even ET is back in the spotlight. Just like a number of impressive seasons from yesteryear, you can feel the expectation and excitement growing. This makes me shudder for their devoted and frequently tormented supporters.

So here’s the cut-out ball: 2012 is probably going to end up in the Cronulla-Sutherland sands of time snugly as another premature cork-popping.

Their inflate-and-deflate wrap sheet is sadistic, colourful and legendary.

Gavin Miller defied a permanently splattered nose to lead the Sharks with distinction.

For the wrinkly and finned amongst us, there was 1988 when the broad shoulders of Gavin Miller carted the club to number 1 on the charts with high hopes to go deep into the finals for a duck-breaker. They were bundled out in straight sets with nothing more than the JJ Giltinan Shield to comfort them.

And there’s the Johnny Lang regime from 1994-2001, a period of consistent week-to-week success where they only missed the finals twice, but still came up with nothing more than fresh ocean air.

This era included arguably the most raw and indecent psychological scar of them all being campaign 1999. Mentioning this year, or even singing the Prince song about partying at this juncture, is against council by-laws in the Shire.

The club monstered all-comers and secured the minor premiership in a canter, then lead the Dragons 8-0 in the Grand Final qualifier before being tumbled out by a somersaulting Anthony Mundine in a second half ambush.

Then to cement the legend further, another 2 preliminary finals were made and blown in 2001 and 2002.

No wonder they stuffed up in 2008. Look at the size of their pack!

Finding some cash to survive became a priority after this up until 2008 when brutality and inhumanity returned to kill a small part of the Sharks soul again. They finished top of the pile at the end of regulation and then exited without barely a whimper to the Storm again in a preliminary final.

See a sequence forming here?

It’s a cruel place for a footballer to ply his trade or for a supporter to commit to.

Gallen and company have done the hard yards against the on-field opposition so far this year, but they still have their biggest opponent to overcome before the VB can flow at Sharkies and Carmens at years end.

They’ve got to roll history.

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  1. Don’t forget the Super League grand final they lost in 97. I feel like spraying tears, marvelous. They have been woefully unklucky, I truely feel for them and their fans. I think for them to go close again this year with no cigar at the end would be cruel. If they manage to make it this season, then by God I hope they win it.

  2. The Senior

     /  April 18, 2012

    Nostalgia,what a wonderful word.Your comments on the inability of Cronulla to snare the big one has reminded me of the1973 Grand Final.

    What an absolute ball tearer. played in the days when men were men and let racial comments pass them by,knowing that revenge would be sweet.

    The little pommy bastard Bishop started the mayhem,punching,kicking and pissing off to let Cliff Watson beat the crap out of the opposition.

    Watson,Maddison,Pierce taking it to Reilly,Jones and O’neill was a sight to behold.

    There were fights all over the field,and Keith Page seemed unable to restore order.

    Cronulla was the better team. Then up bobbed Bobby Fulton.

    This bloke should have been presented with an Oscar for his acting ability to extract penalties from the Referee.Another award should have been a gold medal for diving.

    However,that aside,this brilliant bastard won the game for Manly with two breathtaking tries.

    They were truly the good old days.

    • So much salt for their wounds, so much salt. On another note, what are some of your thoughts on Bozo?

      • Mr Eldridge 2.0

         /  April 18, 2012

        Yeah Senior…. does he need a cement truck?

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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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