Saturday’s (19/09/2015) only NRL 2015 Finals Week 2 match is between Nth Queensland Cowboys and Cronulla Sharks. The opening bounce is set to commence at 19:45 local time with the game to be played at 1300Smiles Stadium. The home team Nth Queensland Cowboys are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Nth Queensland Cowboys and Cronulla Sharks.
When: 19:45 | Saturday 19/09/2015
Where: 1300Smiles Stadium
Tip: Nth Queensland Cowboys at $1.36
Value Tip: First Tryscorer: Kane Linnett $17.00
1 Lachlan Coote 2 Kyle Feldt 3 Justin O’Neill 4 Kane Linnett 5 Antonio Winterstein 6 Michael Morgan 7 Johnathan Thurston (c) 8 Matthew Scott (c) 9 Jake Granville 10 James Tamou 11 Gavin Cooper 12 Ethan Lowe 13 Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14 Rory Kostjasyn 15 John Asiata 16 Scott Bolton 17 Ben Hannant 19 Ray Thompson.
1 Michael Gordon 2 Sosaia Feki 3 Gerard Beale 4 Ricky Leutele 5 Valentine Holmes 6 Jack Bird 7 Jeff Robson 8 Chris Heighington 9 Michael Ennis 10 Sam Tagataese 11 Luke Lewis 12 Wade Graham 13 Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: 14 Ben Barba 15 Anthony Tupou 16 Andrew Fifita 17 Jayson Bukuya 18 Matt Prior.
It probably won’t be Michael Maguire that finally switches off that porch light if Cronulla do win their maiden NRL premiership this season.
But there will be plenty of others lining up for the honour if the Sharks can end rugby league’s longest-running title drought.
South Sydney premiership winning coach Maguire said he hoped the Sharks would go on to take out the Provan Summons trophy after they ended the Rabbitohs season last week.
Maguire said he could see similarities between Souths’ premiership assault last year that ended 43 years of pain and the Sharks’ title quest in 2015.
Of the current first grade clubs only the Sharks, the Warriors, North Queensland and Gold Coast are yet to reign on the final Sunday of the season.
But for the Sharks, whose first season was in 1967, the wait for a premiership has stretched far longer than the Warriors and the Cowboys, both of who entered top flight rugby league in 1995.
The Sharks have plenty of years of agony on the Gold Coast too.
The current Gold Coast franchise’s inaugural season was in 2007. The previous incarnation the Charges existed from 1988 to 1998.
The Sharks can move a step closer to that holy grail with a win over the Cowboys in Saturday night’s semi-final in Townsville.
If they took the title they’d finally push supercoach Jack Gibson’s famous quote – “Waiting for Cronulla to win the premiership is like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt” – out of the vernacular forever.
In the time the Sharks have taken to attempt to win their first premiership, Australia has had 10 prime ministers, 15 Test cricket captains, and 12 Olympic Games have been held.
The average weekly male earnings have gone from $58 to $1545.
The Australian population has more than doubled from 11.8 million to 23.8 million and the cost of a ticket to the Grand Final to witness a possible Sharks’ premiership miracle has gone from 90c to $3 in 1967 to between $45 and $350 this season.
But whatever you do, just don’t mention the drought to anyone at the Sharks, including skipper Paul Gallen, who has achieved all there is in rugby league except deliver that elusive silverware to the Shire.
“We’re not worrying about winning a premiership just yet,” Gallen said.
“We’re worried about playing the Cowboys this weekend. It’s a big game for us, a big challenge up there in North Queensland.
“The bigger the challenge, the greater the reward.
“We’re just worried about this weekend and getting it done.”
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change