Tue, Aug 23, 10:28am by Bren O'Brien
We warned you that September was the Cronulla’s ‘kryptonite’ and after a run of three straight losses, the Sharks have now slipped to fourth in betting to win the NRL Premiership.
It seems like yesterday that the Sharks had embarked on a 15-game winning streak and we were all seriously considering whether they should be favourites for the first NRL title in their 49-year- history. We even wrote an article ‘Why aren’t the Sharks favourite for the NRL premiership?’
In that article, experienced league journalist and Sharks tragic Adam Lucius told us that the reason the then high-flying team from The Shire weren’t the darlings of punters was simple. They go to water in September.
Well, Lucius was one month off in his calculations. The slide has instead come in August, where the Sharks have tripped up against the Raiders, the Dragons and then Rabbitohs, all of which they were favourites for.
The latest defeat (12-6) has coach Shane Flanagan looking for answers but coming up with very few as the Sharks face to possibility of slipping to third and missing a home final. The Raiders have come from nowhere in recent weeks, winning eight on the bounce to close to within two points on the table after a 28-18 win over the Eels.
“This will all be forgotten once we get to the semi-finals and it’s a new competition,” Flanagan said without a lot of conviction after the latest defeat.
Sportsbet now has the Sharks at $6 to win the premiership, with the Storm clear on top at $3.40, the in-form Raiders now $5.50 and the Cowboys third pick at $5.50. The Broncos are $9, while the team they beat on the weekend, the Bulldogs, are $11, despite currently sitting fourth.
The minor premiership now seems a forgone conclusion with Melbourne now $1.04 and the Sharks $9. For that race to be alive coming into the final round clash between the two, the Sharks will need to beat the Roosters and the Storm will need to lose to the Broncos.
The Titans, who face fellow top eight sides the Panthers and the Cowboys, are on 27 points, three clear of the Warriors, who come up against the Tigers this Sunday before facing the Eels in the final round. The Tigers, also on 24 points, would need to beat the Warriors and the Raiders and hope the titans lose both matches.
Suggested Bet: Stick with the Storm to win at $3.40.
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