Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
29 hours ago
Manly will be out to end a 21-year winless record at Cronulla's home ground when they start round 19 NRL action tonight.
The Sea Eagles haven't won at the Sharks' home since 1986 and, with the Sharks severely depleted due to injury, Manly will be raging favourites. Cronulla halfback Brett Seymour will play his first NRL game this season only a few weeks after coach Ricky Stuart banished him to amateur football.
Manly need to win to keep alive their hopes of gunning down Melbourne for the minor premiership while Cronulla need to revive their final aspirations with a win.
Up north, and speculation is rife that Gold Coast player Chris Walker will be in his first NRL match in four months tonight when the Titans host the Bulldogs.
Coach John Cartwright hasn't ruled out drafting Walker into his injured-ravaged squad for the clash with the `Dogs, who will be missing star forwards Willie Mason and Mark O'Meley. Walker hasn't played since round one after an alcohol-related incident at a Surfers Paradise nightclub that almost led to his sacking from the club.
Meanwhile, club chief executives claim NRL players need to be warned about the tax haven misconception of the English Super League.
CEOs met in Sydney today to discuss ways of reducing the number of players going abroad for lucrative contracts that Australian clubs cannot match amid concerns of a player drain to the UK.
It is believed players are using tax exemptions in the UK, whereby part of their contract, often significant amounts, are held in offshore accounts tax-free and collected upon their return home. But South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson, who has UK Super League experience, has told the meeting he knew of three former NRL players who had been stung by the offshore payment system and not received all the money they expected.
NRL chief executive David Gallop believes educating the current group of players about the pitfalls of England's tax-haven scheme was a good idea and has agreed having former players Richardson spoke of share their stories in public could be a good deterrent.