Sure, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have never won a first grade premiership, but there’s a lot more to this famous beachside outfit than missed title opportunities. For instance, did you know …
* The Ken Kearney-coached Sharks won their first-ever New South Wales premiership match, against the Eastern Suburbs Roosters on April 2, 1967. John Hynes scored the visitors’ only try at the former Sydney Sports Ground, which is now the Allianz Stadium car park.
* However, in their first-ever season in 1967, the Sharks finished last on the table, collecting seven competition points. Fellow newcomers the Penrith Panthers finished second last with 12 points.
* Cronulla’s first home ground in the Sydney premiership was Sutherland Oval. They moved to Endeavour field, the location of their current stadium, in mid-1968. They were the only elite-level rugby league club to own their own ground.
* The Sutherland Shire team was one of three NRL clubs to officially change their name over the 1999 off-season. In 2000 they were known merely as “Sharks”. Meanwhile, the “Bulldogs” dropped Canterbury-Bankstown from their title, and the Sydney City Roosters wanted to be known as just “Sydney Roosters”.
* In 1963 they were actually known as Cronulla-Caringbah.
* The Sharks’ first-ever top-grade jersey was predominately teal with a white V across the front. They borrowed this design from the Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club. Their colours in the Sydney 2nd division comp, which they’d previously competed in, were chocolate and gold.
* Six Cronulla Sharks represented Australia in the rebel Super League era of 1997. They were Andrew Ettingshausen, Russell Richardson, Jason Stevens, Paul Green, Craig Greenhill and David Peachey.
* The Sharks’ menacing back-rower, Gavin Miller, won back-to-back Dally M Medals across 1988-89.
* Cronulla has won the minor premiership twice, in 1988 and 1999.