In 1990 the Berlin Wall came down. In 1969 man walked on the man. On Sunday at Toyota Park, the Cronulla Sharks beat the Melbourne Storm without Paul Gallen. Sharks fans rejoice, your team can win the Telstra premiership.
Despite being in the big time for man than 40 years, the Sharks have never won a premiership. They’ve spilt blood and won minor premierships, made grand finals and had their fair share of champion players. But the proud people of The Shire have never enjoyed the sweet taste of glory.
On Sunday, the 2012 version of the Sharks became heavyweights of the National Rugby League.
With their inspirational captain sitting in the stands, Cronulla conquered the undefeated Melbourne Storm. A team which included Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.
“Finally I think people will stand up and take a little bit of notice that we can play football and we are a good team” Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said at the press conference.
“The defensive effort was outstanding.
“Within this group, we’ve got our thoughts of what we can achieve this year and we’ve got to go out and show that.
“To come back after a Monday night game and without Gal is massive.
“I spoke to the players about opportunities. We’ve got a really good footy team and we need to capitalise on that.”
Cronulla are now 7-3 with upcoming games against the Canterbury Bulldogs, Parramatta Eels and Gold Coast Titans.
With or without Gallen, Flanagan’s men can win all three of these games and really set themselves up for September.
Jeremy Smith was equally pleased at the post match press conference.
“It’s good (to score the try), but I suppose it’s even better when you get the 2 points and your side is going good” Smith said.
“Playing against your old team mates is always going to be something special, but it was a hard fought win, and I’m proud of the boys.”
The Sharks not only have an inspirational leader in Gallen and a silky playmaker in Todd Carney.
They have men who are willing to bleed for the cause. Men who have had their own personal heartache in the NRL and thirst for silverware. Men like Bryce Gibbs and Jeff Robson. Guys like Ben Ross and Colin Best.
This version of the Cronulla Sharks is the most dangerous of them all.