He was the last man to pilot Cronulla to a grand final and now Paul Green has urged them not to get swept up in the hype as they seek to finally write their names in the record books.
Just minutes after the Sharks knocked Green’s North Queensland from the NRL finals, to book a berth in Sunday week’s season decider, Green reflected on his his time in the Shire.
Green wore the No.7 jersey in the Sharks’ appearance in the 1997 Super League grand final and spoke of the weight of expectation which will be on the side as they seek to break their 50-year title drought.
The black, white and blue faithful were whipped into a frenzy as their side ran roughshod over the reigning premiers at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, a wave of emotion and euphoria which promises to be with the side all week.
“It can be a distraction but it can also be good,” Green said.
“It depends how they handle it. They’ll get enormous support.
“Given the fact they haven’t won one, I think everyone down that way will probably be a bit excited.”
The Sharks won through to the club’s third grand final with their 36-20 demolition of the Cowboys and will meet the winner of Saturday’s clash between Melbourne and Canberra for the Provan-Summons trophy.
After the Sharks executed a 55-point turnaround – having been beaten 39-0 by the Cowboys in last year’s semi-final – North Queensland skipper Johnathan Thurston could only marvel at the transformation of Shane Flanagan’s team.
“Thery’re a totally different side to what they were 12 months ago,” Thurston said.
“Once they got that lead, they just strangled us and that’s semi-final football. We weren’t really good tonight and we hurt ourselves.”