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Sharks like Storm in '99: Kimmorley

15/09/2008 03:24:55 PM Comments (0)

While Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart is playing down the similarities with his title-winning Roosters side of 2002, in-form halfback Brett Kimmorley says the no-frills Sharks remind him of his 1999 premiership outfit from Melbourne.

"There was (prop) Glenn Lazarus and (lock) Tawera Nikau, but we were mostly a bunch of blokes trying to make a success of things in Melbourne," the `99 Clive Churchill medallist said.

"Like the Sharks, we didn't have a team of superstars."

The New Zealand Warriors' shock upset of the Storm on Sunday has suddenly thrust the unfancied Sharks to within one win of their first grand final appearance since the 1997 Super League decider.

Stuart, Kimmorley and prop Ben Ross, who came off the bench for Penrith in the 2003 decider, are the only members of Cronulla's current set-up to have tasted premiership success.

Lauded for their defensive steel, Stuart said his side's attack had also finally started to click with the Sharks having averaged 29 points a game in their run of four straight wins.

"I'm happy that we're bouncing off our defence with our attack," he said.

"We knew we had it in us. We had so many lost

opportunities with the football in the earlier parts of our season.

"I think the players were getting sick of me going to video review and saying 'this is all our lost opportunities and this is the execution that needs to be played in this scenario in our attack'.

"They're putting that into place now.

"It's just repetitive practice. The boys are very focused and prepared to do the hard work in training in regards to repetition on repetition.

"But it's really showing. That repetition is paying dividends for us at the moment."

Cronulla will play the winners of next Saturday's heavyweight semi-final between Brisbane and Melbourne for a berth in the October 5 title decider.

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