“Turn your porch lights off because we are coming home with the trophy.”
With those words Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen heralded the end of rugby league’s longest running premiership drought.
The Sharks ended 49 years of agony on Sunday at ANZ Stadium in claiming their first title with a 14-12 win over Melbourne.
Gallen’s words made reference to former Sharks coach Jack Gibson’s famous quote: “Waiting for Cronulla to win the premiership is like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt”.
And his words will likely forever be linked to the Sharks’ maiden premiership win as Gibson’s quote borrowed from the Wizard of Oz: “Ding dong the witch is dead”, is linked to Parramatta’s first premiership win in 1981.
“I thought I was going to pass out at the end there,” Gallen said after the win against Melbourne.
“We wanted it more, that was what it boiled down to.”
“It means so much to the club, to all the former players who have busted their backsides.
“This club, this brand has to be one of the most resilient in sport.”
It was only two years ago Cronulla claimed the wooden spoon after the ASADA drama resulted in coach Shane Flanagan being suspended for a season and 17 former and current players were banned.
“This club has been broken, it has gone broke a few times,” Gallen said.
“And we had all those dramas a few years ago.
“With people trying to destroy the club and people trying to destroy individuals.
“I am just so proud of the boys.”