Sharks' Gallen takes aim at Souths boss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks' Gallen takes aim at Souths boss

By David Beniuk 28/03/2010 04:37:27 PM Comments (0)

When a desperate John Lang returns to Cronulla on Monday night, the last of his generation of Sharks will be hoping to pile on the misery for the new South Sydney boss.

Cronulla second-rower Paul Gallen is the last player at the NRL club to have played under Lang's long tenure at the Sharks, making his debut in the current Souths boss' last year at the helm, 2001.

Eventual grand finalists Parramatta flogged Cronulla 36-6 on June 3 that year as a 21-year-old Gallen came off the interchange bench for his NRL debut.

"He was just one of the young guys, he'd come up at a pretty young age playing second grade," Lang recalled.

"You could see he was going to be a player of the future."

A sometimes controversial and always aggressive Test and State of Origin player of the future, as it would turn out

"Same as he is today, strong front-on defender and power-runner, that's what he's still doing," Lang said.

"He ran aggressively and he tackled aggressively but he didn't get him self into untoward situations."

Embarrassment is on the line for both clubs on Monday night as they try to avoid going 0-3.

Souths are desperate to get a season of high expectations moving against lowly rated Cronulla, while the Sharks will look to take advantage of the pressure the Rabbitohs must be feeling.

Another loss for the Sharks, too, will leave them just one shy of the NRL record of 14 consecutive defeats.

It's a far cry from Lang's era, when Cronulla made the finals in six of his eight years in charge.

"It's probably never a game I've really enjoyed but I'm probably pretty well over it now," he said of going back to Toyota Stadium.

"It's been nine years since I coached there so it's probably become a bit of a neutral venue for me.

"Especially the first few years, I actually found it a bit difficult going back after being there for eight years but now I'm sort of over it ... you've got to move on."

So much so he didn't even let last year's horror season for the Sharks get to him.

"It's just footy, that's the thing," he said.

"If you're in footy over a period of time everybody gets their turn on the burner, it's just the way it is."

Lang isn't still in regular contact with Gallen, but did run into him at an unofficial Sharks reunion recently.

"You bump into him from time to time, I bumped into him at Jason Stevens' wedding," he said.

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