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The Quietest Showman: Katoa plays down stunning form

Sione Katoa could well be the NRL's quietest showman.

The 22-year-old Sharks winger's brazen try-scoring theatrics are in stark contrast to his reserved nature.

The Tongan representative has now scored five tries in the past two matches, his acrobatic efforts dominating highlight reels.

A Zoom interview with Katoa on Wednesday barely lasted more than a minute as he offered up sentence-long answers. Not because he was disrespectful - far from it - but he doesn't crave the spotlight.

Katoa joked with NRL.com after his hat-trick against the Bulldogs in round six that he tries to "make it look sexy for the fans". It's led to a new nickname from his Cronulla teammates.

"I think all the boys are starting to call me 'big sexy' after the last couple of weeks," Katoa laughed.

 
 
 
 
 
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Yes it’s True I do like to make it look sexy 😂😉

A post shared by God Is Able 🙏🏽 (@sionekatoa1) on

An update to the smiling assassin's Wikipedia page claims he's also earned the moniker of Stone Cold Katoa "due to his finishing abilities stunning his opponents - like that of former WWE superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin's stunner".

Nicknames aside, Katoa is thriving outside five-eighth Shaun Johnson, who leads the league for try assists with 10.

"I'm loving it at the moment... Just playing what's in front of me and [making the most of] what SJ and the boys are giving me," Katoa said.

Flair, finesse and freakish finishes

Pressed on how much practise goes into his unbelievable airborne finishing, Katoa said: "It just happens".

With eight tries in seven games, he sits equal second alongside Wests Tigers star David Nofoaluma on this year's leaderboard. North Queensland's Kyle Feldt (9) is on top.

Katoa's form surge has coincided with veteran Bryson Goodwin's return to the club. Goodwin is in awe of his wing partner.

"I hadn't seen too much of him, to be honest, being away for two years [in England in 2018 and '19]," Goodwin said.

"To come into the team and him get a hat-trick and then two more on the weekend, I've seen the quality of his finishes."

The Sharks are circling the top eight and will shoot for three straight wins when they face the 13th-placed Titans on Saturday.

Prop Braden Hamlin-Uele conceded Cronulla had been guilty of creeping "down to the level" of lower-placed teams in the past and couldn't afford to be complacent at Cbus Super Stadium.

Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Sharks

"I think it's just an attitude thing. I think we've been susceptible to taking teams a little too lightly maybe, but that's all turned around," Hamlin-Uele said.

"All the boys are very, very confident that we can build from what we did against Manly to whoever we play, wherever we play and whenever we play. We've got a big job to do and [we need to] treat everyone with the same respect." 

Former Roosters, Titans, Dragons and Cowboys back Nene Macdonald has been included on the extended bench and is a chance to make his Sharks debut, having joined the club a few weeks ago.

Fullback Matt Moylan is confident Macdonald will be ready when called upon.

"He came to us in good nick and the way he's attacked his training has been really impressive," Moylan said.

"If he gets an opportunity I'm sure he'll deliver. We've obviously seen what he's capable of on the field."