Will history be broken this year?
How fitting would it be for history to be rewritten in this, the centenary season of Rugby league in Australia.
Just yesterday we saw for the first time ever, an eighth placed team defeat the minor premiers in the finals when the Warriors claimed a last gasp victory over Melbourne. Some may say that was an upset, but anyone who watched the clinical display the Warriors executed against the Storm in their last match up prior to the finals, I think anyone would be hard pressed to say they were surprised with the Warriors performance.
Another hoodoo was broken on Saturday night when Manly easily accounted for the Dragons to advance to week 3 of the finals. The Dragons had won 4 of 6 games played at Brookvale Oval, and an astounding 9 of 12 games ever played between the two sides. The Dragons had won 8 of the last 9 games these two had played.
The question now stands, what other hoodoo, records and curses are left to be broken before this finals race ends.
The only obviously glaring one is Cronulla. Since 1967 they have never won a grand final. The do have two trophies to their name, the Thiess-Toyota Trophy which they won in 1971 and the AMCO Cup in 1979. However, the First Grade title has been ever so elusive. Do the Sharks have what it takes to overcome history and claim their maiden title?
This year they have accounted for Manly (16-10 at Brookvale), Melbourne (17-16 at Olympic Park), Roosters (20-0 at Toyota), Brisbane (13-6 at Toyota) and Warriors (24-8 at Toyota). That alone shows that they know and have what it takes to beat every other team still in the finals. Of their games that had a margin of 4 points or less, the Sharks won 7 out of 9 this year. They are strong under pressure, which is a key ingredient in the finals.
So, can the Sharks go all the way?