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Sharks players celebrate a try against North Queensland.

They are clinging to the final spot in the top eight but a series of four-point clashes over the next five weeks will make or break Cronulla's finals campaign.

The Sharks have four teams on their tail, including this weekend's opposition Canberra, and they face fellow finals contenders Manly, the Warriors and Newcastle following next week's meeting with last-placed Canterbury.

Beating those teams in the ladder logjam will be worth four points for Josh Hannay's side as it would deny their close rivals the chance to leapfrog them.

"It's a big month of footy for us, at the end of this month we could either solidify a spot or possibly slip right out of it," lock Toby Rudolf said as the team looked to build on last weekend's win over the Warriors.

"The mood is very positive in that period we had six losses in a row, there was no light at the end of the tunnel but we're back on track.

"We've got to keep building as a team and string some wins together."

Young five-eighth Braydon Trindall has chimed in for Cronulla's mid-season run of five wins from six outings, stepping up to the starting side in the last two games due to Matt Moylan's calf injury.

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Trindall is relishing the opportunity to work with departing half Shaun Johnson and produced his best performance of the season against the Warriors.

Moylan and Johnson struck up a handy combination to help the side string four wins in a row and spark a mid-season resurgence after losing six games on the bounce following John Morris's disruptive exit.

With 15 games now under his belt, Trindall gets another opportunity to work with Johnson this week given Moylan's return is not set in stone.

"I'm just here to play good footy and develop into next year," Trindall said.

"They've been playing good together so for me to come in, I'm here to do a job and do what's best for the team.

"Getting the chance in the halves in the last couple of weeks and working on that combination and getting a feel for first-grade footy [is a bonus].

"I'll fill in for Matty for a few weeks until he's back and hopefully keep building that momentum and string a few more wins together.

"Shaun simplifies things and tells me to be simple and get through our sets and play controlled footy."

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The Sharks confirmed a new two-year deal for Trindall last month, less than a fortnight after Johnson surprised fans with an announcement he would be returning to the Warriors in 2022.

Incoming Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon wasn't keen on keeping Johnson, while Josh Dugan and Aaron Woods have also been told to look elsewhere.

Woods has replaced injured back-rower Wade Graham as captain but Rudolf said the emotion of farewelling Woods and Johnson weren't the sole drivers in finishing the season strongly.

"They're both very tough pills to take, both good friends of mine and it will be sad to see them off at the end of the year," Rudolf said.

"They're just as hungry as anyone, both very experienced players yet to win a competition. They'll be doing everything they can to make sure they're doing that this year.

"But we're not just playing for them but our friends, family, members and fans, especially now we're moving away it's even more of a driving motivation."


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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