2022 NRL WA Squad Game – Rockingham Sharks

Probably the most fluid team in the competition, their recent results reflect that moniker.

2017 Grand Finalists. 2018 – 4th. 2019 – 5th. 2020 Grand Finalists. 2021 – 5th (Wooden Spoon).

And it looks like 2022 will be a wild card year again, with lots of movement in our most southern premiership team. The question remains, can the Rockingham Sharks get that elusive first Premiership?

Coaching
Peter Williams has stepped away from the top job at the Sharks in 2022. A grand final appearance in 2020, follow by an exodus of players and injury left them with a wooden spoon season in 2021. But in his place steps up Darren Shaw. The super experienced leader recently took the Sharks to the 2017 Grand Final, and has plenty of admirers down south. A capable operator, he will be ably supported by the well liked club stalwart in Ian Wood.

Gains & Losses
We will start with the losses for the Sharks. Julz Wilson-Wylie who has been probably the benchmark front rower in the competition for a while now most likely won’t be there. Gethin Thomas spent one season in the Shark Tank, but is also moving on, with, if the rumours are true, Logan Barclay. Also, the club legend Andrew Jeffrey is either taking a break or is retired (depends who you ask), so may not be there. And then finish it with capable youngsters Hayden Wood and Brody Gilchrist moving to Queensland, and Tyler Hunt getting a FIFO gig, there is alot of maybe’s and what ifs at the Sharks.

For the gains, its very hush hush down south. Usually very vocal about some big name recruits, the Sharks are holding it close to the vest this season. Club stalwart Dale Christy looks fitter than he ever has which is a great effort and may get the call up. But the Pera brothers, Sirla and Sam are now into a second year and should be more comfortable at the helm. One of the more intriguing rumours are some Rockingham Juniors coming back down to the Shark tank. You have to love the off season rumour mill some times.

Draw Snapshot
Much like their team this year, the Sharks open with a bit of a mystery game against the Rabbitohs, which could see a fired up new team bring the heat, or let the Sharks find their bearings at home in round 1. Round 02 sees them defend their southern fortress again against the travelling Roosters, and then they finish with a trip to the city against the Lions. For a side used to travelling, it is a fairly forgiving opening 3 rounds, which should allow them to get into stride before the Northern visits.

Rockingham full draw here.

 

Conclusion
Making a forecast based on what we know about the Sharks would be doing a disservice to the proud southern club. Whatever happens in 2022, we know the Sharks will keep on throwing punches against their fancied northern opponents. A team never to be under estimated, they can take it to anyone on their day.