Ahead of his final Origin appearance, departing NSW skipper Paul Gallen claims Queensland counterpart Cameron Smith is the best player he's ever seen or faced.
A year ago he was a bench player at the Sharks but 2012 Dally M Medal winner Ben Barba has turned his career around after another superb effort against Penrith.
The Penrith Panthers had the perfect opportunity to end the Cronulla Sharks' winning run but ended up soundly beaten 26-10 at Pepper Stadium on Sunday.
A Ben Barba-inspired Sharks side earned a 13th straight win despite being without five State of Origin stars, beating the Panthers 26-10 in Penrith on Sunday.
All the latest team news heading into Round 18 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
The NSW Blues are set to try out yet another halves combination but James Maloney says he's ready to dominate the playmaking duties in Origin III.
Cronulla's 12-game winning streak has never been in more doubt, with five stars away on Origin duty and the Panthers hungry to make up for last week's loss.
New South Wales utility Jack Bird has admitted he wasn't expecting to be picked for Game Three despite his starring Holden State of Origin debut in Game Two.
Wade Graham was relieved to be picked to make his NSW Origin debut, but it was nothing compared to the emotions of his parents.
In a sign of the belief in this current Cronulla side, captain Paul Gallen admitted after the game he wasn't worried even when the side fell 18 points behind.