Sharks follow the example of their leader as they storm home to beat Parramatta.
With his side down by eight points at half-time, Cronulla captain Paul Gallen took it upon himself to will his sidewards victory against Parramatta.
And from the moment the nuggety backrower threw himself into the Eels’ defensive line three times in the first set after half-time, the rest of the Sharks simply had to follow his lead.
Gallen scored off one of those charges to bring his side back into the game as they went on to win 32-14 at Toyota Stadium.
Gallen was not the only one to stand up when it counted with Todd Carney also having an excellent half and halves partner Jeff Robson scored a double, as the home side shut out the Eels in the second half.
But it was Gallen, playing at prop instead of lock, who was the star as he finished with 250 metres, eight tackle busts and 24 tackles.
Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart was left to lament what might have been as his side let a golden chance for victory slip through their fingers.
“We were a completely different team in the second half. I’d be a genius if I knew what happened,” Stuart said.
“We played really well in the first half but it has been a real problem in the second half we we don’t go for 80 minutes.”
Parramatta started the game on fire and captalised through tries to Ken Sio and Brayden Wiliame to jump out to a handy 14-0 lead.
That could have been the margin at half-time were it not for a storming 40 metre run by Wade Graham which led to Robson’s first for the game.
Eels’ prop Tim Mannah left the field with 20 minutes remaining in the game as the momentum continued to swing towards the Sharks.
Cronulla hooker John Morris slipped through some tired Eels’ defence to give his side a 12-point buffer before Nathan Stapleton scored one of the best individual tries of the year to seal the two-points for the Sharks.
The Sharks go into the bye next week currently in sixth place and well-placed to make a push towards the top four in the second half of the season, when they resume their duties when they travel to North Queensland to play the Cowboys.
Parramatta face a tough take to climb off the bottom of the NRL ladder as they try and regroup before playing South Sydney at ANZ Stadium in round 15.