NRL Breakdown: Sharks defence
This week on the NRL Breakdown, NRL.com expert Matt Elliott looks at Cronulla's defensive structures and how they were able to shutout the Penrith Panthers in dominant fashion.
Elliott looks at two main themes in the Sharks defensive patterns; their kick chase pressure and their tendency to send a shooter at the key playmakers to cut down their attacking time and options, forcing them back towards the ruck.
The Sharks' kick-chase is strong, with three players constantly hammering the players trying to get out of their own end. They use a blitz style of defence, forcing the ball carrier back towards the ruck so that they can control the attacking player and the speed of the play the ball.
By doing this they are able to win the yardage battle and belt the opposition into submission.
The second focus of the Sharks defence is a shooter in the middle of the field charging out of the defensive line to pressure the halves and force them to play inside. Luke Lewis and Wade Graham have a mission to terrorise the halves and not give them any time to think.
It certainly worked against the Panthers.
Watch the full video below.