Ennis ready to face Cowboys
Vital Cronulla hooker Michael Ennis has expressed his relief after escaping suspension for a high shot on Rabbitoh Chris McQueen, following the Sharks' 28-12 win on Sunday.
Charged with a grade one careless high shot for his 69th minute tackle, an early guilty plea means Ennis will have to tread lightly with 95 carryover points for the remainder of the finals.
Nonetheless a sleepless Ennis was buoyed by the news which is sure to make him rest easy for the remainder of the Sharks' build-up leading into their semi final clash against North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday night.
"I'm very relieved, obviously. It's great news, so I'm really looking forward to Saturday night now," Ennis told a packed media scrum on Monday.
"I didn't mean anything by it. It was just a total accident. Unfortunately I just brushed him on his chin there. It was just unfortunate. I really didn't want to have that feeling of letting the team down so I'm grateful I get the chance to play now.
"It's a massive opportunity for the club and it's just wonderful to see all the support and all the buses head out there [on Sunday]. Hopefully a few of them make it up north and we can get into a real contest with the Cowboys.
It's not the first time Ennis has had to deal with carryover points this season, after copping another lot of 95 for touching a referee in Round 2 – while he had a few more to deal with after being suspended for a week for a high shot on Matt Wright in June.
"It's not ideal but I've dealt with [carryovers] for the majority of the year. We play a combative sport. And unfortunately sometimes accidents happen," Ennis said.
"These days accidents get marked as grade ones. We've just got to deal with that as players. I'm just fortunate that I've survived this one."
Ennis refused to buy into Cronulla's two victories over the Cowboys this season giving his team an edge, with their 24-18 win at 1300 Smiles Stadium back in Round 16 ending North Queensland's 11-game winning run.
The Cronulla rake was quick to point out that the Cowboys were without star co-captain Johnathan Thurston for the Townsville clash.
Ennis produced three try assists in that comeback win said his team are under no illusions about how tough a task they have ahead of them.
"We're playing a really good side up there and they'll have plenty of support. And we need to bunker down and go up there and do what we do and do it well," Ennis said.
"They'll lift in front of their home crowd and we're going to need to be better than what we were [against Souths]. But I think with the feeling in amongst the boys, there's a lot of confidence. And we're heading up there in good shape."