Gallen calls on Sharks pack to deliver - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gallen calls on Sharks pack to deliver

Steve Jancetic 28/04/2011 06:20:33 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen says it's time for his side's much-heralded pack to live up to the hype as the Sharks look to revive their flagging NRL finals hopes in Friday night's do-or-die clash against South Sydney.

Gallen issued the call to arms as the Sharks attempt to arrest an alarming four-game losing streak, the fire and brimstone of the round two win over premiers St George Illawarra going missing in recent weeks.

The losing run has left the Sharks in an early-season hole and Gallen left no doubt as to who would be responsible for digging them out.

"Most games are won in the forwards and our forwards were spoken about pretty highly at the start of the year and to be honest I don't think we've performed to the level we should have," Gallen said on Thursday.

"That's what we have to do tomorrow night, step up and play the way we should be.

"We beat the Dragons convincingly and really beat the Panthers convincingly, there was a bit of hype around, everyone was talking us up.

"I didn't get excited at all, it was round three and I know the hardest thing about the NRL is playing every single week and that's something our guys haven't learnt to do yet."

The Sharks will need to start doing it in a hurry, with the Bunnies just as desperate as both sides go into the game with just two wins.

While the competition will only be a third of the way through after this weekend, the loser of the ANZ Stadium clash may as well start planning for 2012 given the start they will have given their NRL rivals.

"We need to win this week going into the bye ... you need to string four or five together and then you're back into it," Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said.

"It's a fine line between winning and losing in the NRL and we're just below it at the moment and we need to get above it."

Both sides are heavily depleted, the Rabbitohs only able to field two specialist props in their 17-man squad, while the sharks will be without dynamic duo Nathan Gardner (ankle) and Albert Kelly (fractured leg).

Kelly's unavailability has opened the door for Tim Smith to revive his stalled NRL career, the former Parramatta and Wigan playmaker lucky to get a call-up after being slapped with a $550 fine at the weekend for failing to leave a licensed premises.

"He knows that he's stuffed up basically and he's trained well all week - it's all in front of him for Timmy," Flanagan said.

"Sometimes you've got to give these players an opportunity to show you what they've got and they come up trumps."

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