Ennis puts the niggle aside in NRL

Michael Ennis has shelved the niggle as he seeks his first grand final win in his last NRL game.

The Cronulla hooker has earned a reputation as one of the game’s biggest pest through his onfield antics.

And he got under Ricky Stuart’s skin by spurring Sharks fans into a rendition of the Viking Clap after the qualifying win over Canberra at GIO Stadium three weeks ago.

But retiring rake Ennis has revealed that on the field he is just focusing on footy as he seeks to deliver the Sharks their maiden premiership triumph.

“I think I have done a fair job on putting it (the niggle) aside for a while,” Ennis said on Tuesday.

“It is just occasionally there is something that gets spoke about for a few days.

“But overall I think over a period of time I have left that behind.”

Ennis will call it quits on a 13 year career that has spanned 272 game across Newcastle, St George Illawarra, Brisbane, Canterbury and Cronulla on Sunday.

He missed the 2006 and 2014 grand finals through injury and lost the 2012 decider.

Ennis has been part of a three-man leadership group with skipper Paul Gallen and future Sharks captain Wade Graham that has spearheaded Cronulla’s grand final charge under coach Shane Flanagan.

Gallen says despite the public perception of Ennis as an NRL bad guy, he is mild mannered away from football, rugby league’s version of Clark Kent.

“He is the straightest bloke you will ever meet off the field, you would be flat out catching him swearing,” Gallen said.

“But then you get him out on the field and he is as ruthless a competitor as there is.

“Those are the sort of blokes you want to play with.

“To be here with him only for two years feels like he has been here for 10 and fingers crossed we send him out a winner on Sunday.”

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