Cronulla Sharks $2.60 to avenge play-off loss to the CowboysPosted on 30/01 by Joe Gann
Significant off-season changes are aimed at re-establishing the Sharks as one of the competition's prominent sides
Weekly Expert Betting Tips - Join our free mailing listThe fact that the 2016 Premiers open the new campaign with a price of $2.60 is a testament to how far their stock has fallen since that drought-breaking success against the Melbourne Storm.
The Sharks have fallen off the pace in recent times, culminating in their surprising loss to the Cowboys in the first week of finals; a defeat that saw the defence of their title crumble in such disappointing fashion.
Losing James Maloney – such a massive influence during that famous 2016 campaign – is a complication that coach Shane Flanagan will need to swiftly resolve; the club has recently emerged as favourites to land Trent Hodgkinson following the uncertainty surrounding Manly Sea Eagles’ salary cap investigation.
The experienced pivot’s exit, to join the Panthers will leave a significant hole in the creative department for the Sharks, and it is likely that new recruit Matt Moylan will step into the role alongside Chad Townsend. The loss of Fa’amamu Brown to the Bulldogs has also left the roster short in the halves hence the interest in signing Hodgkinson from the Knights.
Jack Bird’s departure to the Broncos has been offset by Josh Dugan’s arrival from the Dragons although quickly assimilating the new man into a widely anticipated slot in the centres will be a matter of urgency for Flanagan. With Dugan, Moylan and Valentine Holmes all capable of filling in at full-back, the Sharks are spoilt for choice in that department; Holmes is favourite to retain the role despite his outstanding World Cup showings on the wing for the Kangaroos.
The revamped Sharks line-up has an exciting look to it and with Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Andrew Fifita and Jayden Brailey continuing to make up the nucleus of a forceful pack, the roster retains a familiar look.
The Sharks are to upset the Cowboys.
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