Ennis wants finals action at Shark Park
Veteran Sharks hooker Michael Ennis wants Southern Cross Group Stadium to see finals football for the first time in eight seasons.
In their past two finals campaigns the Sharks have had to play their allocated home finals matches at Allianz Stadium, including last year's 28-12 win over South Sydney.
Ennis said he'd had conversations with Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan and chief executive Lyall Gorman about the possibility playing of a finals game in the Shire.
While Ennis wasn't getting ahead of himself in regards to league-leading Sharks finishing in the NRL top two, he said the club's fans deserved a home final.
"It's really pleasing to walk around Cronulla and talk to the fans in amongst the community. More importantly the turnouts we have had here have been enormous and because of that I think our fans deserve a home semi-final," Ennis said.
"If we work hard enough and we can continue to do what we're doing at the moment. To earn our right to get through this tough competition, as hard as it is, our fans need to be rewarded with a home semi-final."
The Sharks have averaged crowds of 14,272 in 2016, while just over 19,000 people turned up to their last home game – Cronulla's 36-10 win over the Eels in Round 17.
The 32-year-old was under the impression that a sold-out Southern Cross Group Stadium wouldn't be much different to a crowd of 20,000 at Allianz Stadium in a commercial sense.
"We love playing here, the fans love coming here," Ennis said, while speaking from the Sharks' home ground.
"The atmosphere and everything else that comes with it, is what the players deserve if we get the right to a home semi.
"I know it's an uphill battle with the NRL to do it but it's certainly one that I think we need to pursue."
Of the teams who can realistically make it past the first week of September, only the Sydney-based Sharks and the Panthers would be forced to move their finals from their established home grounds.
"I know the Cowboys and Raiders, their stadiums probably hold up to mid-20 thousands where ours is 20-22 [thousand]. There's not a lot difference," Ennis said.
"Our fans have turned out every game this year, massive crowds for us, and have really been behind us and supported us.
"I'd love to see those guys get an opportunity to watch a semi here."