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Shark attack imminent, warn brains trust
They still average only 15 points a game, but Cronulla are starting to believe they can be one of the NRL's attacking forces in 2008.
While they only managed to score two tries to down a depleted Brisbane 13-6 at Toyota Park on Saturday night, coach Ricky Stuart and captain Brett Kimmorley are seeing some sparkle in the likes of five-eighth Brett Seymour, hooker Isaac De Gois and winger Misi Taulapapa.
Seymour starred in the Sharks' dominant second half, laying on a try for another of their attacking weapons, in-form fullback Brett Kearney.
Newcastle-bound De Gois' darts from dummy-half were a constant threat and powerhouse Taulapapa made ground all night and scored his side's first half try.
"The last three weeks I've thought we've been playing quite attractive football," Stuart said.
"But this week we had to really knuckle down and grind out a win.
"We were making some good plays in attack. We kept threatening that left edge quite a lot in that first half when we had good ball." Kimmorley, who laid on Taulapapa's four-pointer with a cut-out ball and clinched the game with a late field goal, agrees.
"The second half was about playing footy," he said.
"We did very well in the first half to still be alive but we can trust Isaac to make some good runs and get some penalties.
"We can trust Misi, when he bounces in he's going to beat two or three.
"They're good triggers to play some footy off." Stuart, who banished Seymour to park football last year, said his No.6 had improved even more since his return to cover an injury crisis at the Sharks last July.
"He's just continuing to improve, he's a good footy player," Stuart said.
"He's been very valuable for us since he has come back.
"This year was just a new year, he's kicked on, he's done very, very well for himself.
"He's formed a good relationship there with Noddy, it's working well." Cronulla also found some spark from another ex-discard, former Newcastle hooker Terence Seu Seu.
The 91kg rake, thrown a lifeline by the Sharks after being sacked by the Knights for a string of off-field problems, made an impact - literally - when he took the field in the second half with two absolute bell-ringers.
"Everything that you blokes see from the sideline that you think lifts or makes us get excited, we do," Kimmorley said.