Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Last updated

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks logo.svg
Club information
Full nameCronulla Sutherland
District Rugby League
Football Club Ltd
Nickname(s)Sharks, Sharkies
Colours     Sky blue
Founded1963 as Cronulla-Caringbah
1967 in New South Wales Rugby League
Current details
Coach John Morris
Captain Paul Gallen, Wade Graham
Competition National Rugby League
2018 season 4th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Kit left arm blackborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body Cronulla2017.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm blackborder.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks hoops sky.png
Kit socks long.svg
Home colours
Premierships1 (2016)
Runners-up3 (1973, 1978, 1997 SL )
Minor premiership 2 (1988, 1999)
Wooden spoons 3 (1967, 1969, 2014)
Most capped332 - Paul Gallen
Highest points scorer1,255 - Steve Rogers

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are an Australian professional rugby league team based in Cronulla, in the Sutherland Shire, Southern Sydney, New South Wales. They compete in the National Rugby League (NRL), Australasia's premier rugby league competition. The Sharks, as they are commonly known, were admitted to the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, predecessor of the Australian Rugby League and the current National Rugby League competition, in January 1967. The club competed in every premiership season since then and, during the Super League war, joined the rebel competition before continuing on in the re-united NRL Premiership. The Sharks have been in competition for 50 years, appearing in four grand finals, winning their first premiership in 2016 after defeating the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium.

Rugby league Full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field

Rugby league is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

Cronulla, New South Wales Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cronulla is a beachside suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Boasting numerous surf beaches and swimming spots, the suburb attracts both tourists and Greater Sydney residents. Cronulla is located 26 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Sutherland Shire.

Sutherland Shire Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

The Sutherland Shire is a local government area in the southern region of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The Sutherland Shire is colloquially known as "The Shire" and it has been featured in several reality television series.



In 1967 the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) added two new clubs to the competition, Cronulla-Sutherland and Penrith, the first to join the competition since Parramatta and Manly were admitted 20 years earlier in 1947.

Cronulla debuted in 1967 wearing a sky blue jersey adorned with a white V and red numbers on the back, at the then club home ground of Sutherland Oval, under the captaincy of multiple premiership-winner Monty Porter and the coaching of Ken Kearney. Cronulla earned immediate recognition when they beat Eastern Suburbs at the Sydney Sports Ground in their first match. They had only two more wins, against Norths and Parramatta, and finished last on the competition table.

Montague "Monty" Porter PSM (1934–2011) was an Australian premiership winning and state representative rugby league footballer of the 1950s and 1960s. He was a second rower with the St. George Dragons during their eleven-year premiership winning run from 1956 to 1966, playing in six winning grand final teams. He was the inaugural captain of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in that club's foundation season of 1967. After football, he had a successful career as a Sports Administrator.

Ken Kearney Australian dual code rugby player

Kenneth Howard "Killer" Kearney was an Australian rugby footballer – a dual-code international player – and a rugby league coach. He represented the Wallabies in seven Tests, and the Kangaroos in thirty-one Test matches and World Cup games. He captained Australia in nine rugby league Test matches in 1956 and 1957. He was a hooker and captain-coach with the St. George Dragons in the first half of their eleven-year consecutive premiership winning run from 1956 to 1966. He is considered one of Australia's finest footballers of the 20th century.

Sydney Roosters rugby league football club

The Sydney Roosters is an Australian professional rugby league football club. They are based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The club competes in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition and is one of the oldest and most successful clubs. The Roosters have won fourteen New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and National Rugby League titles, and several other competitions. Only the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Dragons have won more premierships. The club holds the record for having the most wins and the second greatest margin of victory in a match in Australian rugby league history, and has won more minor premierships than any other club. The Roosters is one of only two clubs to finish runners-up in its inaugural season. The Eastern Suburbs DRLFC is the only club to have played in each and every season at the elite level, and since the 1970s has often been dubbed the "glamour club" of the league. Coached by Trent Robinson along with captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend, the Roosters play their home games at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In mid-1968 the club moved permanently to Endeavour Field at Woolooware, and became the only club in Sydney to own their own ground. Their first match there was against Parramatta and the Cronulla Sharks won 10–7.

Endeavour Field

Colloquially known as Shark Park during Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks matches, and known by its commercial name PointsBet Stadium. Shark Park is a rugby league stadium in the southern Sydney suburb of Woolooware, New South Wales, Australia. It is the home ground of the Cronulla-Sutherland Rugby League Club, which represents the Cronulla and Sutherland Shire areas in the National Rugby League competition. Unique among NRL clubs, the Sharks own and operate their home ground. The Sharkies Leagues Club sits beside the stadium.

Woolooware Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Woolooware is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Woolooware is located 24 kilometres (15 mi) south of the Sydney central business district in the Sutherland Shire. It shares the 2230 postcode with Cronulla.

Parramatta Eels rugby league football club

The Parramatta Eels are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta. The Parramatta District Rugby League Football Club was formed in 1947, and their home ground was Parramatta Stadium. As of 2019, Parramatta's home ground stadium has been rebuilt and they now play as the majority tenants at Bankwest Stadium, which sits on the same site that was once Parramatta Stadium.


Cronulla made their first grand final in 1973 against Manly Warringah losing 10-7. Cronulla met the Sea Eagles again in the 1978 grand final, leading 7–2 well into the second half, before Manly came back and brought the scoreboard to 7-11. It took a late penalty goal from Steve Rogers to level scores at 11-all by full-time. The replay saw the Sharks opportunity pass by as they fielded a much-weakened team due to further injuries, eventually being shut-out by Manly 16–0. Cronulla were without suspended stars Greg Pierce and Dane Sorensen in both games, while hooker John McMartin, fullback Mick Mullane and Barry Andrews were all injured for the replay.

Steve Rogers (rugby league) Australian rugby league player

Steve Rogers was an Australian rugby league footballer of the 1970s and 1980s. He played for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and St. George Dragons teams in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership competition and for Widnes in the English Championship, usually in the position of centre. Rogers represented New South Wales and Australia captaining the national team once in 1981.

Gregory Stuart "Greg" Pierce was an Australian rugby league player, coach and administrator. He played as a lock for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the National Rugby League competition and for Australia. He captained his country on one occasion.

Dane Hans Ivan Peter Sorensen is a New Zealand former rugby league footballer of the 1970s and 1980s. Sorensen represented New Zealand and his usual position was prop. He's the brother of fellow Kiwi international, Kurt Sorensen, and the nephew of another pair of Kiwi brothers, Bill and Dave Sorensen. He is of Maori, Tongan and Danish descent.


Cronulla suffered major financial trouble in 1983, with the NSWRL appointing an administrator and providing a loan. Western Suburbs and Newtown, both in a similar predicament, were refused a loan, with Newtown being forced out of the competition. Cronulla also made the final of the mid-week KB Cup, but lost again to Manly, 26–6.

Amco Cup

The Amco Cup was a mid-week rugby league competition held in Australia between 1974 and 1989. The format was usually a straight knock-out, but various group formats were used between 1979 and 1982. It aired on Channel Ten with Ray Warren and Keith Barnes the commentators for many years. The concept was created by Colin McLennan.

In 1985, Cronulla was buoyed by the arrival of 'super coach' Jack Gibson, who had coached Easts and Parramatta to premierships. Gibson left the club in good shape in 1987, with the promise fulfilled in 1988 when Cronulla won the minor premiership, led by veteran second-rower Gavin Miller, who was named Dally M Player of the Year, and Rothmans Medal winning halfback, Barry Russell. However, Russell dislocated his shoulder two weeks before the finals, and missed the semi-final where Cronulla went down to Canterbury. He was rushed back in for the final against Balmain, but he was severely hampered by the injury, and Cronulla were bundled out. A bright spot for the Sharks, though, was the selection in the Australian team of Miller, and young centres, Ettingshausen and Mark McGaw.

In 1989, Cronulla sneaked into the finals after thrashing Illawarra 46–14 in the final round, followed by a memorable 38–14 victory over the Brisbane Broncos in the play-off for fifth position. However, they could not repeat the performance in their semi-final against eventual premiers Canberra, in what was their third game in seven days. Gavin Miller was rewarded for another great year with both the Dally M Player of the Year award and the Rothmans Medal.


Cronulla again dropped into a period of poor form and financial trouble in 1990, but the appointment as coach of rugby league Immortal, Arthur Beetson, in 1992 helped turn the on-field problems around. He helped develop a batch of promising players, including five-eighth Mitch Healey, fullback David Peachey, winger Richie Barnett, prop Adam Ritson, and hooker Aaron Raper, son of another Immortal, Johnny Raper. However, Cronulla were forced into receivership in 1993.

Beetson was replaced as coach in 1994 by John Lang, a former Australian hooker, and coach of the Brisbane Easts team. Lang brought halfback, Paul Green, down from Brisbane with him. A golden age for the club had begun, signalled by the two lower grade teams (President's Cup and Reserve grade) winning their competitions. During John Lang's coaching period, from 1994 to 2001, Cronulla made the semi-finals every year except for 1994 and 1998. The club had a glamorous image and attracted record crowds, with a corresponding financial improvement.

In 1995, Cronulla were one of the first clubs to join the Super League competition, which kicked off after protracted legal battles and much bitterness, in 1997. The club was motivated by a dissatisfaction with the perceived favouritism of the NSWRL administration towards other clubs, and a still-risky financial situation.

They reached the inaugural – and only – grand final of the ten-team Super League competition, only to lose to a vastly superior Brisbane side 26–8 in Brisbane. The game was notable for being the only grand final to be played outside Sydney. The club rejoined the reunited National Rugby League competition in 1998.

Arguably the Sharks' best season ever was in 1999, when they again won the minor premiership and the J. J. Giltinan Shield in convincing fashion. The Sharks easily accounted for the Brisbane Broncos in the quarter-final, and led 8–0 in the grand final qualifier against the St George Illawarra Dragons before eventually losing 8–24. Also in 1999, the Cronulla-Sutherland name was dropped, and the club was simply known as the "Sharks", and would be known as this until the end of 2002.


Cronulla lost the grand final qualifier in similar circumstances in 2001, to eventual premiers Newcastle. The year was marked by the sudden rise of halfback Preston Campbell, who was named Dally M Player of the Year, despite being a fringe first grader at the start of the season.

In 2002, John Lang was replaced by Australian coach Chris Anderson, who had led Canterbury Bulldogs and Melbourne Storm to premierships. The following two years were the most acrimonious in the club's history. The first year was almost an on-field success, as Anderson retained the core of John Lang's team, and the Sharks again reached the grand final qualifier. However another heartbreaking loss to New Zealand, the replacement of halfback Preston Campbell – a crowd favourite – with former Melbourne halfback Brett Kimmorley, and a string of released players signaled trouble for 2003.

This was realised with the sudden mid-season departure of long-time stalwarts Nick Graham and Dean Treister. The Sharks finished 11th, suffering a record 74–4 loss to Parramatta in a match marred by the controversial performance of referee Shayne Hayne. Three Cronulla players were sent from the field, including Sharks captain David Peachey, for ignoring the referee's instructions. Constant infighting between the board and the coach led to Anderson's departure at the end of the season.

The same year the club's name reverted to Cronulla-Sutherland, Chris Anderson was replaced by Stuart Raper, another son of Johnny Raper, and the coach of the President's Cup-winning team in 1994. A loyal clubman, he instantly brought a revival in club and supporter spirit. However, Raper's apparent focus on team harmony rather than results led to Cronulla's win percentage worsening, from 49% (24 wins 27 losses) under Anderson, to 43% (31 wins 42 losses).

Steve Rogers, the CEO of the Cronulla Sharks and a former club legend, died on 3 January 2006 at the age of 51 of a "mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol". In April, 2006, the NSW state coroner ruled that the death was accidental.

On 21 April 2006, after much work and lobbying carried out by then-Chairman Barry Pierce and Sharks board member Brian Quinn, Peter Costello, on behalf of the Federal Government, announced they would be funding a $9.6 million upgrade to Toyota Park. The funds were primarily used to construct the Southern Stand which was never completed but later named the Monty Porter Stand.

Cronulla finished the 2006 season in disastrous fashion. After winning 8 out of 9 games in the middle of the season and climbing to near the top of the ladder, the team experienced the worst losing streak in the club's history, losing their last 10 consecutive games. In a see-sawing match to finish a tumultuous season, the Sharks in their final game coming back from 26–0 down only to lose 26–24 to Canberra. A missed penalty goal in the dying seconds of the match would have sent the game into extra-time, allowing the chance for Cronulla to equal the biggest single-game comeback in the history of top-level rugby league in Australia.

On 22 September 2006, the Sharks Board ended weeks of speculation over the future of Coach Stuart Raper by sacking him as first-grade coach and handing him a sizeable payout, making him the second consecutive coach to receive such a payout. On 26 September, Australian Test Coach Ricky Stuart signed a three-year deal to coach the Sharks as of 2007, replacing Raper.

Sharkies Leagues Club Sharkies Leagues Club Sign.JPG
Sharkies Leagues Club

Round one of the 2007 season saw the Sharks break their 10-game losing streak against the Penrith Panthers with an 18–0 victory at Toyota Park. Ricky Stuart led the Sharks to fifth on the ladder at the halfway mark of the season surprising many critics.[ who? ] Towards the end of the season, Cronulla plunged to 15th on the league ladder, slumping to seven straight losses. The season ended with the Sharks in 11th place, rounding off a heartbreaking season, with the club losing no less than nine matches by 4 points or less.

The Sharks had a strong season in 2008, finishing the season in equal first spot (third on for and against). They had one of the best defensive records, but one of the worst attacking records in the league. They had an excellent start to the season, beating defending grand finalists Manly and premiers Melbourne in away games in the first two rounds. After a comprehensive 36–10 victory over Canberra in the Qualifying Final at Toyota Stadium, Cronulla were beaten 28–0 by Melbourne (who later were found to be over the salary cap and cheating) in the Preliminary Final at the Sydney Football Stadium. This was a disappointing end to an otherwise successful season.

Cronulla attack Manly in August 2009 ManlySeaEagles CronullaSharks Tackle.JPG
Cronulla attack Manly in August 2009

During the 2009 season Cronulla's dire financial problems became public knowledge. Asset-rich, owning its stadium and the surrounding land, but with cash flow problems due to its low average home gate and poor on-field performances in recent seasons, the club announced plans for a partial relocation to the Central Coast, which was rebuffed by the NRL. It was to split home games for the 2010–14 seasons among:

A 4 corners ( TV) investigation aired in May 2009 which highlighted the Sharks players involvement in a group sex scandal on a pre season tour in 2002. [1] The club then slid into crisis when it also emerged that CEO Tony Zappia had allegedly punched a female staff member and joked about it. Zappia and Coach Ricky Stuart also then attempted to bully the female staff member into retracting her complaint. [2]

Zappia and Stuart were also investigated for their role around unusual financial transactions with Clint Elford, a fan who falsely claimed to be terminally ill who had sent money to Zappia and Stuart to spend on the Sharks . [3] Elford was subsequently found guilty of fraud and Stuart refused to answer questions when the NRL launched an investigation. [4] [5] CEO Tony Zappia was investigated and subsequently sacked for his role.

On May 26, 2009 businessman Damian Irvine, together with a fresh board of directors, took over control of the club as the St George bank were threatening to foreclose.

They recorded 9 straight losses after a win in Round 1 in 2009 and despite a midseason revival with four straight wins, the Cronulla side slipped to ten straight defeats to equal the club's worst losing streak. One of these losses caused great controversy as the Sharks, playing against Manly, were forced to field just 12 men for most of the game after Luke Douglas was sent off by referee Phil Haines for a careless high tackle. The Sharks managed to avoid the wooden spoon in 2009 when the Roosters were soundly beaten by the Cowboys in the final round, resulting in a lower overall standing than the Sharks. Avoiding last position was a rare positive in a horror season for the Cronulla club.


The start of the 2010 season saw the Sharks return confident of turning around recent disappointing results, however on-field performance remained poor. After the board developed a plan to refinance debt and a long term financial strategy, Richard Fisk resigned in June 2010 due to his failure to find common ground with Chairman Irvine and his Board and a failure by Fisk to refresh the commercial area of the club. The club's head coach, Ricky Stuart, also tendered his resignation and was replaced towards the back end of the season by his then-assistant coach Shane Flanagan.

Promising wing/centre Blake Ferguson was criticised for comments about wanting to leave the club in order to achieve success. On Tuesday, 20 July Ricky Stuart left the Sharks for the rest of the season after admitting he could get no more out of the players and had "lost" them. Chairman Irvine opted to give a chance to Assistant NSW and Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan. After departing, Stuart also cited a fractured relationship with Chairman Damian Irvine as a reason for his departure despite the club making positive strides off-field under his guidance and commitment and Irvine making funds available to back Stuart in the player market as he wished.

The 2011 season started so promising for the club. The addition of Wade Graham at five-eighth and New Zealand international Jeremy Smith to a pack already containing two origin players promised an end to the Sharks' status as cellar-dwellers. Despite being humiliated by the Raiders at Canberra Stadium in round one, 40-12, the club won its next two matches. They beat defending premiers St. George Illawarra 16-10 at home in round two, and smashed Penrith 44-12 at Centerbet Stadium. Missing a number of first-team starters due to injury, the Sharks then lost five in a row to the Warriors (26-18), Sea Eagles (19-13), Knights (24-20), Cowboys (30-12), and Rabbitohs (31-12), dropping down the table, from 9th to 15th. They broke their hoodoo in round ten, when they beat the struggling Sydney Roosters 18-4 at Toyota Stadium. They were again disappointing in round eleven, when they were defeated 40-6 by the Eels at Parramatta Stadium. Despite losing 14-8 to the Storm in round 12, they were much improved and forced the Storm into a classic showdown at AAMI Park in Melbourne. They then faced the Broncos at home in round 13, going down 34-16, before a bye in round 14 gave them the chance to regroup. While the Sharks were taking a much needed break skipper Paul Gallen led the NSW Blues Origin team to a memorable 18-8 victory over Queensland. He then played outstandingly for the Sharks in their round 15 match against the Bulldogs just three days after the State of Origin match, a game in which Cronulla beat Canterbury-Bankstown 26-10. The next four weeks saw a turnaround of the club's performance, with victory over the Gold Coast Titans 36-12 and the South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-4, before they took revenge against the Canberra Raiders 26-12.

Cronulla lost their two props for the 2012 season, Origin representative Kade Snowden to Newcastle and Luke Douglas signing for the Gold Coast Titans. Captain Paul Gallen's transformation into an Origin prop alleviated this problem somewhat, and the Sharks were active in the player market, signing prop Jon Green from St George, former Shark Isaac de Gois, prop Mark Taufua from Newcastle, halfback Jeff Robson from Parramatta and props Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Fifita from Wests Tigers.

2012 began very well for the club under Chairman Damian Irvine, Coach Shane Flanagan . The recruitment by Mooney and Flanagan paid dividends with new recruits Jeff Robson, Andrew Fifita, Todd Carney, Ben Ross, Isaac De Gois and Mark Taufua taking pressure off Paul Gallen allowing him to hit a purple patch of form. The club won 6 matches in a row for the first time in over a decade and after 8 rounds were sitting third on the table as the highest placed Sydney based franchise.

A difficult State of Origin period saw injuries to captain Paul Gallen and star Todd Carney. The Sharks struggled to recover and struggled in the back half of the year, however still capped a remarkable turnaround by qualifying for their first finals series in 4 years, losing to Canberra in week one. The match notable for seeing Paul Gallen outplayed by young rival Josh Papalli and Todd Carney injuring his Achilles.

Sponsorship deals with SHARK Energy Drink, Fishermans Friends, and Luxbet flooded in and helped the financial situation off-field, with the close of Season 2012 seeing Shane Flanagan emerge as one of the game's leading up and coming head coaches and his mentor Damian Irvine the game's leading young administrator.

At the beginning of Season 2013, Irvine stood down as Chairman on learning of the questionable operational and duty of care practices of coach Shane Flanagan, and Darren Mooney during 2011 which exposed the club to the ASADA scandal. Flanagan was stood down and Peter Sharp stepped up to the head coaching role. Flanagan returned in 2013, a season in which the Sharks qualified for the competition semi finals, before he was forced to serve a 9-month suspension handed down by the NRL for breaches of basic governance and duty of care practices, thus validating the strong ethical stance made by Irvine and the board in March 2013.

Sharp again took over the reins, before resigning mid season the week after the club's greatest comeback victory, with the team coming from 22 nil down to beat the Brisbane Broncos 24-22. Following that win, a photo went viral of Sharks playmaker Todd Carney pretending to urinate into his own mouth. Just one day after Carney was stood down by the Sharks CEO Steve Noyce, Sharp resigned as interim head coach and was replaced by James Shepherd.

The 2014 season saw a myriad of struggles for the Sharks on the field, with injuries and the suspension of five players involved in the supplements scandal of 2011, missing games at the back end of the season. The Sharks finished 2014 with the wooden spoon.

In 2015, the club climbed the ladder to eventually finish 6th with 2 wins over eventual minor premiers Sydney Roosters and 2014's premiers South Sydney Rabbitohs. 2015 was also the year Flanagan was reappointed as coach of Cronulla after sitting out the 2014 season.

in 2016 the sharks won their first premiership.

In November 2018, the Sharks sack 10 staff members after $3m loss for 2018 season. [6]

Supplements scandal

The beginning of the 2013 NRL Season saw the Sharks investigated by ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency) and reports led back to Sports scientist Stephen Dank who Shane Flanagan and Trainer Trent Elkin introduced to the club, and statements that he had administered peptides to a number of Sharks players. The investigations resulted in the sacking of four of the Cronulla Sharks' staff members for their involvement and cover up. They were Darren Mooney, Mark Noakes, David Giveny and Konrad Schultz. Flanagan was stood down from his coaching duties in 2014 before guiding the Sharks to the finals series in 2015.

The Sharks finished the 2013 season in 5th place on the ladder, before winning their first finals game in a controversial 20-18 victory over the Cowboys. They went down the following week 24-18 to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles to bow out of premiership contention. Cronulla were commended for their bravery throughout the whole of the season by not letting off-field distractions (namely the ASADA investigation) deter their on-field performances, however 2014 proved to be a different story, with interim coaches and player injury and suspension seeing the club finish the year with the Wooden Spoon.

2016: First Premiership

The 2016 season started with a 20-14 loss over 2015 premiers, North Queensland Cowboys. This was followed by a 30-2 win over the St. George Illawarra Dragons and a loss to Manly-Warringah, 22-12. The Sharks then went on to win 15 games in a row from Round 4 against the Melbourne Storm to Round 21, against the Gold Coast Titans, resulting in an 18-all draw. This was the largest win streak in the club's history. During this period the Sharks equaled their largest win score by defeating the Newcastle Knights 62-0.

They then went on to win 1 out of their last 5 games resulting in a drop from 1st to 3rd. In round 26, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and Melbourne Storm faced off in a minor premiership showdown in which the Melbourne Storm won 26-6 in AAMI Park. They went on to defeat the Raiders in the Week 1 qualifying final 16-14 and earning the week off. Advancing to the Preliminary final, they defeated defending premiers North Queensland Cowboys 32-20 at Allianz Stadium. They would face and defeat the Melbourne Storm in the 2016 NRL Grand Final. The Sharks, after leading 8-0 at half-time, prevailed in a gripping affair 14-12 to claim their first premiership in the club's 50-year history. Sharks second rower Luke Lewis was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as Man of the Match.

Soon after the Maiden premiership victory stat player Ben Barba tested positive for Cocaine and was sacked from the club. Chairman Damien Keogh who rose to the position on a platform of promising good governance and increased commercial experience garnered from his role as CEO of HOYTS Australia, was also arrested for possession of Cocaine whilst in Sydney's CBD and resigned from the position of Sharks Chairman as a result.

2017: World Club Challenge

The Sharks played Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium on 19 February 2017, losing 22-6 to a strong Wigan side.

2018: Financial struggles

During the 2019 preseason, on November 29, it was confirmed that the Sharks would be forced into sacking 10 staff members to help their financial situation. It was reported that Cronulla had lost $3 million, despite being given support of the NRL. [7]

Emblem, colours, and song

For Cronulla's maiden season in first grade a teal jersey with a white V was adopted from the Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club despite Cronulla's chocolate and gold design in the Sydney 2nd Division competition. The team colours of black, white and teal changed to sky blue, with grey being incorporated during Super League, and shortly after on the team's away strip.

The club wasn't known as the Sharks until after its initial admission into the competition. During Cronulla's first season the crest featured a drawing of Captain Cook's ship, HM Bark Endeavour. It is alleged[ citation needed ] that during the first season the club President suggested the 'Lions' while the captain Ken Kearney recommended the 'Sharks'. The mascot may have been named after the Cronulla Surf Club's rugby league teams of the 1970s.

From the late 1970s through to the late 1990s, the Sharks used a predominantly black circular crest with a blue shark. This was changed after Super League in 1997 to a blue and white star-shaped design. Between 1999–2002, the name was shortened to simply the "Sharks"[ citation needed ]. Since 2003, the name has since been changed back to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and changed their logo again in 2004, which is currently in use.

Cronulla's club song is known as Up Up Cronulla, and is set to the tune of Beer Barrel Polka.


When the Sharks entered the competition in 1967, they played their home games at Sutherland Oval. They only played there for two seasons with the Sharks winning their first game at the ground on 22 April 1967 NSWRFL season. The record attendance for Sutherland Oval was set in the last Cronulla game played at the ground when 12,578 saw the Sharks go down 32–4 to Canterbury Bankstown, then known as the Berries, now Bulldogs on 16 June 1968 NSWRFL season. [8] Overall, the Sharks compiled a record of 4 wins, 11 losses and 1 draw at the venue. [9]

In 1969, they then moved to Endeavour Field, where they have remained. This home ground has had numerous names over the years including Ronson Field, Shark Park, Toyota Park and until the end of 2012, Toyota Stadium. In 2013, it returned to the original name Endeavour Field. On 4 July 2013, the Cronulla Sharks announced their new stadium naming rights partner Remondis, an international waste solutions and management company.

In 2016 a new sponsorship deal for naming rights was signed with Southern Cross Group to name the stadium Southern Cross Group Stadium. The new partnership with Southern Cross Group (SCGroup) is a three-year deal, reportedly worth $1.5 million.

Southern Cross Group Stadium has a capacity of 22,000 people with the record attendance of 22,302 being set for a game against local rivals the St George Illawarra Dragons on 1 May 2004 [10]

Sharkies Leagues Club

Sharkies Leagues Club Sharkies Leagues Club.JPG
Sharkies Leagues Club

The Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club is known as Sharkies, and is located on Captain Cook Drive at Woolooware. The leagues club sits beside the Cronulla Sutherland home ground, Endeavour Field.

Proposals to develop the land assets of the Leagues Club which owns the stadium and land around Endeavour Field stumbled for many years prior to arrival of renowned businessman Damian Irvine. In partnership with his head of finance Craig Douglas the plans finally became more tangible, as details of a residential and shopping centre were released. In August 2012, the club received final approval for their plans solving a 40-year-old problem of financial instability.

The arrival of respected CEO Lyall Gorman has seen 2016 be a watershed year off and on-field for the Sharks.

2019 Squad

Cronulla Sharks 2019 Squad
First Grade (Top 30) SquadDevelopment PlayersCoaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured

Updated: 3 July 2019
Source(s): Sharks 2019 Squad

2019 Signings/Transfers


Losses -


Sharks Immortals

The club has honoured five individuals as "Immortals" of the club: [11]

Representative players

Club captains

Club Icons

Dream Team [12]

Announced 2006

1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg FB David Peachey
2 Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Mat Rogers
3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg CE Steve Rogers
4 Flag of Australia (converted).svg CE Andrew Ettingshausen
5 Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Ray Corcoran
6 Flag of Australia (converted).svg FE Michael Speechley
7 Flag of England.svg HB Tommy Bishop
8 Flag of Australia (converted).svg PR Jason Stevens
9 Flag of Australia (converted).svg HK Ron Turner
10 Flag of England.svg PR Cliff Watson
11 Flag of Australia (converted).svg SR Ken Maddison
12 Flag of Australia (converted).svg SR Gavin Miller
13 Flag of Australia (converted).svg LK Greg Pierce
14 Flag of New Zealand.svg RE Dane Sorensen
15 Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Steve Kneen
16 Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Brett Kimmorley
17 Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Jonathon Docking

Team of the Half Century [13]

Announced 2017

1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg FB David Peachey
2 Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Mat Rogers
3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg CE Steve Rogers
4 Flag of Australia (converted).svg CE Andrew Ettingshausen
5 Flag of Australia (converted).svg WG Valentine Holmes
6 Flag of Australia (converted).svg FE James Maloney
7 Flag of England.svg HB Tommy Bishop
8 Flag of England.svg PR Cliff Watson
9 Flag of Australia (converted).svg HK Michael Ennis
10 Flag of New Zealand.svg PR Dane Sorensen
11 Flag of Australia (converted).svg SR Greg Pierce
12 Flag of Australia (converted).svg SR Gavin Miller,
13 Flag of Australia (converted).svg LK Paul Gallen (c)
14 Flag of New Zealand.svg RE Andrew Fifita
15 Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Brett Kimmorley
16 Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Steve Kneen
17 Flag of Australia (converted).svg RE Jason Stevens

Club Legends

Announced 2003

Award winners

Dally M Medal

Rothmans Medal

Club Player of the Year (Monty Porter Medal)

Clive Churchill Medal

Coaches register


Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

This rivalry has been dubbed the "Battle of the Beaches", due to the geographical locations of the two clubs. Manly played the Sharks in two grand finals: 1973 and 1978, which are renowned for being the most brutal in history. Manly won both of these deciders, 10-7 in 1973 and 16-0 in the 1978 replay after the first game ended at 11-all. The Sea Eagles have traditionally had much success over the Sharks, with Cronulla winning at Manly's home ground just five times in their history. However the Sharks' biggest ever win came against Manly, a 68-6 thrashing in 2005. Cronulla and Manly play for the Steve Rogers Trophy when the two clubs meet in the NRL premiership each season. Most recently the two teams met in the 2013 finals, when Manly held off Cronulla by 24-18.

Penrith Panthers

Another rivalry is with fellow debutants from 1967, the Penrith Panthers. Despite both teams struggling in their early years of existence, they would always lift the intensity whenever they met, especially when both teams were near the bottom of the ladder. Not much was made of their clashes until recent years, when both clubs started regularly taking each other's playing stock. Cronulla have purchased stars from the Penrith club including Paul Aiton, Michael Gordon, Wade Graham, Sione Katoa, Jeremy Latimore, Luke Lewis, Matt Moylan, Junior Paulo, and James Segeyaro. Penrith have in turn bought stars from the Cronulla club over the years including Preston Campbell, Shannon Donato, Paul Franze, Craig Greenhill, Martin Lang, James Maloney, Tyrone Peachey, and David Simmons. In 2018, the two clubs finally had their first meeting in a finals match with Cronulla winning 21-20.

St. George Illawarra Dragons

Cronulla's fiercest rivalry is with their Southern Sydney neighbor, St. George Illawarra Dragons. The success of the St. George club has often seen Cronulla labeled as the 'little brother' to the Dragons, further emphasized by the Dragons merger with Illawarra Steelers in 1998, effectively surrounding the Cronulla-Sutherland region geographically. Despite this the head-to-head match-up between the two clubs is surprisingly even. The two teams always lift the intensity when they meet, which has led to some classic matches over the years. In 1999, the Sharks had won the minor premiership and looked like cruising to the grand final, before the Dragons scored 24 unanswered second half points to win 24-8. They would meet again in the finals in 2002, with Cronulla winning 40-24, and again in 2005 when the Dragons won 28-22.

Melbourne Storm

A fairly recent rivalry that intensified in the 2016 grand final which was won by Cronulla. In late 2007, the Sharks were on course to break a 6 match losing streak until a Cooper Cronk field goal saw them lose 16-17. Round 2 of 2008 saw the sides meet at Olympic Park in Melbourne, and Cronulla were able to reverse the result by the same scoreline via a Brett Kimmorley field goal. The match was marred by an ugly brawl which saw Cronulla's Ben Ross and Melbourne's Brett White sent from the field. It was the only loss the Storm suffered at home during the 2008 regular season. The two sides met again in the preliminary final where the Storm, despite missing captain Cameron Smith to suspension, smashed the Sharks 28-0 to advance to the grand final against Manly-Warringah. Melbourne Storm begun the 2012 season with 9 straight victories, before a Paul Gallen-less Sharks pipped them 12-10 thanks to a Jeremy Smith try and clutch conversion from Todd Carney. It looked like Cronulla would land two wins over the Storm that year, leading 18-10 with 90 seconds to go in the second game between the sides. The Storm somehow scored twice to win 20-18. The rivalry was reignited in late 2015 when Melbourne beat Cronulla 30-2 in spiteful circumstances. Sharks coach Shane Flanagan accused Melbourne of slowing down the game with their wrestling tackle technique. The loss meant that Melbourne leap-frogged the Sharks into 4th place heading into the finals. Again the Sharks handed Melbourne their first loss of the 2016 season, winning the round 4 clash 14-6. It was the first match in Cronulla's record-breaking 15 match winning streak. The two sides would meet in the final round of the regular season with the winner taking out the minor premiership. The Storm won 26-6 and took out the JJ Giltinan Shield. However, the Cronulla Sharks would win the biggest game ever between the two sides 4 weeks later, winning the 2016 grand final by 14-12 in a thriller. The two teams traded close wins in 2017, with Cronulla winning 11-2 at AAMI Park before Melbourne returned serve with an 18-13 victory at Southern Cross Group Stadium. 2018 saw the Sharks win both encounters with the Storm during the regular season, yet despite this, lost to them in the preliminary final 22 to 6. The match featured a controversial moment when Storm player Billy Slater made an illegal tackle on Sharks winger Sosaia Feki while he was in the act of scoring, therefore constituting a professional foul. Slater managed to avoid the Sin Bin despite being penalised for the action, as well as avoiding suspension, with the NRL judiciary controversially ruling that the tackle did not constitute a shoulder charge.

Player rivalries have also spawned from the matchup as well as from State of Origin, with Paul Gallen and Will Chambers regularly classing with each other in such matches.


The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks receive support from groups of fans, including the "Cronulla-Sutherland Supporters Club", [15] [16] supporter's website "Sharks Forever", and fan forum "Sharks Forever". [17]

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks fans became widely known for the 'Spirit Fingers', when someone has a Place kick. [18]

Notable Celebrity Supporters of the club include;

Related Research Articles

Brett Kimmorley Australian rugby league player

Brett "Noddy" Kimmorley is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. A New South Wales interstate and Australian international representative halfback, he last played for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs of the NRL. He previously played for five other clubs: Newcastle Knights, Hunter Mariners, Melbourne Storm, Northern Eagles and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. Kimmorley also represented Country NSW four times and New South Wales ten times as well as playing 15 times for his country including the 2000 World Cup. He also played two Super League Tests. He retired at the end of the 2010 NRL season.

Paul Gallen Australian rugby league player

Paul Gallen is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a lock, prop and second-row forward and captains the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the NRL. He is a former captain and representative of the New South Wales State of Origin team. He has also been the vice captain of the Australian national team and has played his whole NRL career to date with the Sharks, with whom he won the 2016 NRL Premiership. He is NRL's oldest player playing in 2018. He has the Australian first grade record for most seasons played in the NRL with 19 (ahead of 18 season players such as Andrew Ettinghausen, Luke Lewis, and Cameron Smith. He is also a heavyweight boxer.

Ricky Stuart Australian dual code rugby player and rugby league coach

Ricky John Stuart is an Australian rugby league football coach who is the head coach of the Canberra Raiders in the NRL and a former rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s, 90s and 2000s. He was also the head coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team, having replaced Craig Bellamy following a fifth consecutive failure in the 2010 series. Stuart had previously been coach of the Australian national side, and has coached National Rugby League clubs, the Sydney Roosters, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Parramatta Eels.

The 2003 NRL premiership was the 96th season of professional rugby league football in Australia and the sixth run by the National Rugby League. Fifteen teams competed, with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles returning in place of their failed joint-venture club, the Northern Eagles. Ultimately, the Penrith Panthers defeated reigning champions, the Sydney Roosters in the 2003 NRL grand final, claiming their first premiership since 1991.

The 2006 NRL season was the 99th season of professional rugby league football in Australia and the ninth run by the National Rugby League. The lineup of teams remained unchanged from the previous year, with fifteen clubs competing for the 2006 Telstra Premiership. Throughout the 26 rounds of the regular season ten teams from New South Wales, two from Queensland and one each from Victoria, the ACT and New Zealand competed for the minor premiership. Eight of these teams qualified for the four-week finals series, with the Brisbane Broncos eventual victors over the Melbourne Storm in the grand final. Melbourne finished the regular season first so were awarded the minor premiership, but this was later revoked due to the Melbourne Storm salary cap breach.

St. George Illawarra Dragons rugby league football club

The St. George Illawarra Dragons is an Australian professional rugby league football club, representing both the Illawarra and St. George regions of New South Wales. The club has competed in the National Rugby League since 1999 after a joint-venture was formed between the St. George Dragons and the Illawarra Steelers. They officially formed as the game's first joint-venture club on 23 September 1998 and remain the only cross-city team in the NRL. The team has its headquarters and leagues clubs in both Wollongong and the Sydney suburb of Kogarah, and train and play games regularly at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, as well as at Jubilee Oval in Kogarah. From 2006 to 2018 the club was jointly owned by the St. George Dragons 50%, Illawarra Steelers 25% and WIN Corporation 25%. In August 2018 WIN Corporation purchased the Illawarra Steelers remaining 25% stake.

2007 NRL season

The 2007 NRL season was the one hundredth season of professional rugby league football club competition in Australia, and the tenth run by the National Rugby League. Sixteen teams contested the NRL's 2007 Telstra Premiership, and with the inclusion of a new team, the Gold Coast Titans, the competition was the largest run since the 1999 NRL season.

James Maloney (rugby league) Australian rugby league player

James Maloney is an Australian professional rugby league footballer of Irish descent, who plays as a five-eighth or halfback for and formerly captained the Penrith Panthers in the NRL. He is an Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin, Country Origin and Prime Minister's XIII representative. Maloney previously played for the Melbourne Storm, New Zealand Warriors, the Sydney Roosters with whom he won the 2013 NRL Premiership and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks with whom he won the 2016 NRL Premiership.

The history of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks rugby League Football Club goes back to its foundation in the 1960s.

This article details the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks rugby league football club's 2005 season.

The 2008 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks season was the 42nd in the club's history. Coached by Ricky Stuart and captained by Paul Gallen and Greg Bird, they competed in the National Rugby League's 2008 Telstra Premiership, finishing the regular season 3rd to qualify for the finals. The Sharks then came within one game of the Grand Final but were knocked out by eventual runners-up Melbourne Storm.

Gerard Beale is a professional rugby league footballer who plays as wing, centre and fullback for the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL. A New Zealand international and World All Stars representative, Beale previously played for the Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, where he won the 2016 NRL Premiership.

Shane Flanagan is an Australian professional rugby league football coach, and was the Head Coach of the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks. He was appointed assistant coach of NRL team Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in 2006 and was subsequently appointed to the top position when former coach Ricky Stuart resigned on 20 July 2010.

The 1999 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks season was the 33rd in the club's history. They competed in the NRL's 1999 Telstra Premiership and despite losing in the preliminary final against St. George-Illawarra, the season was one of the most successful in the club's history after finishing with just their second minor premiership without dropping below equal first throughout the entire season. The club enjoyed record crowds as well as breaking the club record for most points and tries in a season. The club also equaled their biggest ever victory with a 46-0 thrashing of Western Suburbs as well as breaking their highest points tally in a match with the 56-18 defeat of North Sydney. David Peachey finished the season with 19 tries, which was also a record for the club. The club was coached by John Lang and captained by Andrew Ettingshausen while their major shirt sponsor was Pepsi.

The 2011 NRL season consisted of 26 weekly regular season rounds, which began on 11 March and ended on 4 September, followed by four weeks of the finals series culminating in the grand final on 2 October.

Shaun Johnson New Zealand rugby league footballer

Shaun Johnson is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who plays as a halfback or five-eighth for the Cronulla Sharks in the NRL. He has played previously for the New Zealand Warriors. In 2014 Johnson won the Golden Boot Award for the world's best player.

The 2013 NRL season was the 106th season of professional rugby league club competition in Australia. The National Rugby League's main competition, named the 2013 Telstra Premiership after major sponsors Telstra Corporation, was contested by sixteen teams during the regular season, which lasted from March to September, and resulted in the top eight finishing teams, who went on to contest the finals. The season culminated in the Grand Final, in which the Sydney Roosters defeated the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 26-18 to win their first NRL premiership since 2002.

The Manly–Melbourne NRL rivalry is between two National Rugby League clubs, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the Melbourne Storm, who are engaged in a modern-day rivalry. They have met 30 times since 1998, with Melbourne leading the head-to-head 16–13; there has also been a drawn match between the two sides. Additionally, they have finished three regular seasons as the top two placed sides on the premiership ladder, although in the cases of 2007 and 2008, the Storm had those minor premierships stripped from them due to the discovery of salary cap breaches in April 2010.

2016 NRL Grand Final final game of the 19th NRL season

The 2016 NRL Grand Final was a rugby league match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks to determine the premiers of the National Rugby League for the 2016 season. The match was held at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Sunday 2 October. The Sharks won the match 14–12 in a tight contest before 83,625 spectators, earning the club its first premiership title in their 49-year history. They also became the last of nine Sydney-based teams to win a premiership. Cronulla forward Luke Lewis was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as the best player on ground.

The 2019 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks season is the 53rd in the club's history. The team is coached by John Morris, who replaced Shane Flanagan after he resigned in January. The Cronulla Sharks are captained by Paul Gallen and Wade Graham and are currently competing in the National Rugby League's 2019 Telstra Premiership.


  1. "Woman tells of Matthew Johns incident". Newcastle Herald. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  2. Magnay, Jacquelin (9 June 2009). "Stuart faces claims as Zappia stands down". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  3. "Mystery Cronulla Donor".
  4. "Donor Arrested".
  5. "Parents charged".
  6. "Cash-strapped Cronulla Sharks forced to lay off 10 staff". 29 November 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  7. "NRL 2018: Cash-strapped Cronulla Sharks sack 10 staff, CEO Barry Russell | Fox Sports". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  8. "NSWRFL 1968 - Round 12 - Rugby League Project".
  9. "Sutherland Oval - Results - Rugby League Project".
  10. "NRL 2004 - Round 8 - Rugby League Project".
  11. Statistics / Club Records Archived 22 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine at
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Sharks name Team of the Half Century". Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. 3 March 2017.
  14. "Valentine's night at Monty Porter awards". Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. 2 October 2018.
  15. "Welcome to".
  16. Australia, RSM Digital (24 December 2014). "Home - The CSSC".
  17. "Sharks Forever Forums".
  18. "'Tis the end of the season to be jolly". 7 September 2008.