Sharks can still improve: Ennis
Even after 14 consecutive wins the Sharks won't be easing up the intensity against the Newcastle Knights on Sunday afternoon, according to veteran hooker Michael Ennis.
Ennis wasn't happy with some aspects of the Sharks' performance in their 32-20 win over the Roosters last Monday and said the league leaders would need to improve against Newcastle.
This despite the Sharks already beating the Knights 62-0 earlier this season thanks to a four-try haul from winger Valentine Holmes.
"We went into it just a little bit off in terms of the intensity we have brought to games, especially defensively," Ennis said of their win over the Roosters.
"I thought with us up at 26-10 we really changed our mindset on the run and we were good enough and strong enough to get ourselves into a good position.
"To concede points late in the game and allow it to turn into a pretty scrappy last 15 minutes was really disappointing from our standards."
Ennis said the NRL Telstra Premiership competition leaders could not risk taking the foot off the pedal against the Knights, who will be without Robbie Rochow (pec), Sione Mata'utia (jaw), Daniel Saifiti and Jake Mamo (both suspended).
It's likely the Sharks won't rest any of their five New South Wales Origin stars against the Knights either, though Jack Bird, James Maloney and Wade Graham haven't trained all week.
"Newcastle nearly knocked over Raiders down in Canberra which is always difficult and they really took it to Melbourne, who people are saying are the form side of the competition," Ennis said of the Knights' recent form.
"We're in for a game on Sunday and because there's such a long way to go this season we need to make sure we're becoming a better footy side especially at this point of the year."
One thing which has impressed Ennis however is the form of halfback Chad Townsend, who has helped steer the ship without the Sharks' Origin hoard around.
"Chad's a real leader in our side. His form has been excellent and I really enjoy playing with him," Ennis said.
"He's a really good halfback to play with. His communication is great but just his enthusiasm and will to want to learn and get better, it really motivates guys like myself who are in the back end of our careers."