Sharks turn tide on Dragons NRL rivalry
Next Game: The Season has finished
15 Mar 2018
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan believes his side's form has helped turn the tide on their NRL rivalry with St George Illawarra in recent years.
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan believes the Sharks are turning the table on local rivals St George Illawarra to the point where they could now almost consider themselves the bigger brother.
The southern derby is one of the closest rivalries in the NRL, with the Red V holding a slender 20-19 advantage in the head-to-head record during the merged era.
Matches between the sides have been split in six of the past seven years, a stark contrast to the early days when the Sharks won just on of their first 12 derbies between 1967 and 1971. They trailed St George 40-32 until the 1998 merger with Illawarra.
Flanagan himself made his first grade debut for St George in 1987, playing three games for the club that season before moving to Western Suburbs and eventually Parramatta.
He believes the advantage has swung to the Sharks by virtue of their maiden title success and having qualified for the past three finals series.
"Being in the Shire for most my life you understand the passion the Sharks originally had against the Dragons, the big brother," Flanagan said.
"But I think it's flipped around a little bit over time with us winning the competition in 2016.
"I even heard one of their players, Gareth Widdop, talking about us being the big brother which is great for us.
"We've turned the tide a little bit."
For the second season in a row the derbies will be over in the early part of the year, with the two sides set to face off again in round six in Wollongong.
While the Dragons were one of the most impressive teams of the opening round of the season against Brisbane, the Sharks fell into old habits in their six-point loss to North Queensland.
They completed at just 63 per cent - less than their league-low 74 per cent in last year's title defence - while they also gave away 10 penalties.
"We had 15 errors and we're back where we were last year," Flanagan said.
"We worked hard in the off-season to eliminate the errors and the penalties, and I think the penalties were 10-6 and the errors were 15 each.
"A lot of those ones, there's probably five penalties we can get rid of, and a similar amount of errors coming out of territory or trying to push passes if we can get rid of them out of our game we're going to be a force."
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Last Game: The Dragons lost against the Penrith Panthers 26 - 30 at Penrith Stadium, Australia (5428 days ago)
game results here|
| St George Illawarra Season 0 Stats (All games)|
| Total Games Played
| Away Games
| Away Wins
| Home Games
| Home Wins
| Total Tries:
| Total Goals:
| Total Field Goals:
| Total Points For:
| Total Points Against:
1999 NRL Country Carnival, 1999 NRL Season, 1999 NRL Finals, 2000 NRL Season, 2001 NRL Pre-Season, 2001 NRL Season, 2001 NRL Finals, 2002 NRL Season, 2002 NRL Finals, 2003 NRL Season,
| Leagues the St George Illawarra are in|
Brent Kite, Craig Stapleton, Gary Mcbride, Jason Hooper, Jason Ryles, Lance Thompson, Lee Hookey, Luke Bailey, Luke Felsch, Mark Gasnier, Mark Riddell, Matt Cooper, Nathan Blacklock, Nathan Tutt, Reece Simmonds, Shane Millard, Shaun Timmins, Trent Barrett, Willie Peters,
Amos Roberts, Andrew Bobbin, Andrew Hart, Chris Leikvoll, Colin Ward, Craig Smith, Darren Treacy, Jamie Ainscough, Jamie Fitzgerald, Justin Smith, Kieran Kerr, Paul McGregor, Wade Forrester, Wayne Bartrim,
Anthony Mundine, Corey Pearson, Daniel Heckenberg, Lee Murphy, Luke Branighan, Luke Patten, Nathan Brown, Robbie Simpson, Terry Lamey,
Brad Mackay, Craig Fitzgibbon, Mark Coyne, Rod Wishart,
Sunday, 11 May, 2003
St George 26
Sunday, 4 May, 2003
St George 28|
Friday, 25 Apr, 2003
St George 24|
Sydney City 20
Saturday, 19 Apr, 2003
St George 24|
Sunday, 13 Apr, 2003
St George 12
Saturday, 29 Mar, 2003
St George 14
Sunday, 23 Mar, 2003
St George 30|
Saturday, 15 Mar, 2003
Wests Tigers 24|
St George 20
Saturday, 21 Sep, 2002
St George 24
Saturday, 14 Sep, 2002
St George 26|