DEFENCE IMPROVING: Sharks captain Paul Gallen (centre) says his team can reverse its poor recent form after a strong showing against Souths.
DEFENCE IMPROVING: Sharks captain Paul Gallen (centre) says his team can reverse its poor recent form after a strong showing against Souths. PAUL MILLER

Gallen says Sharks can turn around poor form

CAPTAIN Paul Gallen remains upbeat that despite Cronulla's late-season form wobbles the Sharks can find some bite against the Roosters and avoid limping into next month's NRL final series.

Since a 16-all draw with the Gold Coast halted their record 16-game winning streak, the Sharks have lost their way, falling to the Raiders 30-14 and St George Illawarra 32-18.

They couldn't lift last weekend when South Sydney ground out a 12-6 win to seriously dent their hopes of reeling in Melbourne for the minor premiership.

They can still take top spot if they beat the Roosters and Brisbane upsets the Storm and the Sharks end with a win over Melbourne.

The major concern for coach Shane Flanagan is the team has leaked 74 points in its past three games with so much to play for.

Gallen, who is deep in negotiations for his final contract with the club which is chasing its maiden premiership in its 50th year, believes a win against a pumped-up Roosters would be the ideal tonic to get the Sharks back on track for the finals.

The Roosters, who can't make the finals after a slow start to the season, are revelling in their spoiler role having pulled out upsets over last year's grand finalists North Queensland and Brisbane.

Gallen, who has missed the past two losses through injury, said Cronulla's form was not ideal for the finals, but a few wins could give them confidence and momentum.

"We had a pretty good run there and people kept telling us we needed to lose a game,” he said.

"Now we've dropped three games in a row and they're saying we are gone.”

Gallen felt after giving up 30 points in their previous two losses, the players looked more committed to defending their line against Souths.

"We gave up a soft try early but after that our defence was a lot better,” he said.

"That's where it has to start from and if you get that right your form flows off that.

"We've been one of the best attacking sides all season along with Canberra and if we can find that form we can turn it around.”

The big problem for the Sharks is the fact the Roosters are flying.

With halfback Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dylan Napa, Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra and Sio Siua Taukeiaho all playing great footy, the Roosters should be contesting the finals.

In the backs they have

so much talent in electrifying youngster Latrell Mitchell, Connor Watson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Blake Ferguson to name a few.



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