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Sharks halfback Chad Townsend.

Sharks halfback Chad Townsend had two unexpected numbers thrown up at him this week, as he continues to digest Cronulla's early exit from the 2019 NRL Finals race.

Helping to wash the pain away from the 28-16 loss to Manly in last week's elimination final, came a 48 hours Townsend did not expect.

Firstly, a Sharks colleague rang him ahead of the club's presentation night on Tuesday, to tell him he had passed 100 consecutive games for Cronulla.

"I didn't know… had no idea… but it's pretty cool actually," Townsend told

"It's something I'm proud of and don't take lightly at all."

Secondly, Townsend collected not one but the three top awards for the NRL team at the Sharks gala end-of-season dinner.

He was named the Members Player of the Year, the Players' Player of the Year, and finally took out the top gong – the Monty Porter Medal for Player of the Year.

"I'm overwhelmed and extremely humbled," Townsend said. "To be recognised by both those in the dressing room and those outside of it is a great honour.

"Have you seen some of the names on this trophy?".

Every try from Finals Week 1

Well the name of retiring skipper Paul Gallen jumps out at you – his name is engraved five times. But then there's the three won by fullback David Peachey, the two by centre Andrew Ettingshausen, the first and only joint award (in 2016) to premiership-winning props Andrew Fifita and Matt Prior

 And now Townsend's name will be there. None of the others played 104 first-grade games in a row for the Sharks, and Townsend is still counting.

When I look back at our year – and we were so decimated by injuries – Chad was the glue that kept us all together

John Morris

He's actually up to 111 if you add in the seven games at the back end of his final season with the Warriors in 2015. Then throughout the past four seasons, Townsend hasn't missed a game.

"It's always been a goal of mine to play every game – to be fit and healthy – I just never bothered counting them," he said.

"You've just got to be as professional away from the field and look after yourself and that's one of the things that’s helped me get ready come game time."

His 2019 season of 25 games produced six tries, 13 try assists and 11 line breaks.

Sharks head coach John Morris was another player meticulous in his preparation.

"Well he's certainly a better player than I was… and I love the way he goes about his work," Morris told

Gallen thanks fans and club post match

"He's never had the most natural of abilities as a player but he's plied his trade and worked hard on his game.

"When I look back at our year – and we were so decimated by injuries – he was the glue that kept us all together.

"It was him that brought us out of that tough period mid-year (lost five in a row). He was rock solid through that period and he really stood up.

"His attention to detail in his preparation and his leadership presence in our group, he's such a deserved winner of those awards. I'm so happy for him because I see the work he puts into his game."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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