Ignoring the haters is key to Cronulla recapturing their sublime mid-season form, hooker Michael Ennis insists.
Three successive defeats have the Sharks in danger of relinquishing their hold on a vital top-two spot, despite one of their most successful regular seasons ever.
Cronulla crashed to a winless month in Monday’s loss to South Sydney, after a draw with Gold Coast and defeats to Canberra and St George Illawarra.
The Sharks mid-season run made them one of the NRL’s hunted and plenty of pundits have enjoyed witnessing their recent dip in form.
Retiring rake Ennis is aware some would take a perverse enjoyment in Cronulla’s premiership drought continuing this season.
“We have a lot of experience in the side and it is important we help the younger guys at times like these about blocking out the noise,” Ennis told AAP.
“We know what we need to do, not what everyone else out there wants us to do. It is going to come from within the group.”
Honesty would also be crucial in turning the Sharks fortunes around, he felt.
“We just have to be openly honest and look at what is going wrong,” Ennis said.
“You don’t just become a bad footy side in three weeks.
“We need to make sure we go back to what we were doing well through the middle of the season and that was executing better.”
The Sharks have missed big forwards Paul Gallen and Sam Tagataese over the past fortnight.
Gallen will return from a calf in Saturday’s penultimate round clash against Sydney Roosters at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Winger Sosaia Feki comes back from one match out with a groin strain.
“I dread five-day turnarounds sometimes but this one I think we need to get straight back into it,” Ennis said.