The Viking Clap has morphed into the Shark Clap and rugby league fans can expect 40,000 Cronulla fans slapping their hands together in unison at Sunday’s NRL grand final, according to the head of their supporter group.
Sharks hooker Michael Ennis has commandeered the chant, made famous by Iceland fans at this year’s European soccer championships, and given it to Cronulla.
Ennis’s post-game rendition of the clap was picked up the Cronulla Sutherland Supporters Club after the win in Canberra and they are running with it, according to President James Manley, who insists he didn’t put an ‘e’ in his surname via Deed Poll.
Allianz Stadium was ablaze with the Shark Clap after Cronulla defeated North Queensland on Friday night to earn their first grand final berth in a united competition since 1978.
“It is not the Viking Clap any more, it is the Shark Clap,” Manley told AAP.
“And we will be bringing it out again on Sunday. We can’t wait.”
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart was furious at Ennis adopting the clap for the Sharks, but Cronulla fans loved it.
“Ricky is not very popular in the Shire,” Manley said.
“That was a part of it. But is ours now and we intend to keep it ours.
“We took it from the Raiders, of course. But where did they get it from?
“It wasn’t theirs to begin with.”
Sydney hasn’t adopted the Sharks as their team as they seek their maiden premiership, but according to Manley they don’t care.
“The whole of the shire will be behind them that is what matters,” he said.
“We don’t care if everybody else doesn’t want us to win.
“They will win it for us.”
Manley, a 39-year-old logistics expert from Cronulla knows Melbourne will have plenty of support there on Sunday.
“With Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk they are like another Queensland side so all the Broncos fans and Cowboys fans who bought tickets will be supporting them,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter though, because the Shark Clap will drown them out.”
Manley will travel in a convey of 10 buses of 468 fans to ANZ Stadium on Sunday. Other members of the CSSC have snapped up tickets in their thousands.
He is expecting a Cronulla win to light up the Shire at the end of the long weekend. Given the 36,717 crowd figure on Friday was mostly make up of Sharks fans, he is expecting at least that many at the decider at the 80,000 seat venue.
“This is our time, the drought is finally coming to an end,” he said.
“The boys will do us proud.”