SPORT

Amazing 15-Match Cronulla Sharks Winning Streak Nobody Saw Coming

It is officially time to take these people seriously.

25/07/2016 6:45 AM AEST | Updated 25/07/2016 8:48 AM AEST
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter
Getty Images
Despite the streak, they're still not the bookies' favorites which means punters aren't yet convinced.

OK, this is officially getting serious. We begin our regular Monday morning weekend sports wrap with the news that the NRL's Cronulla Sharks have extended their winning streak to 15 after beating the Newcastle Knights 36-4 on the weekend. The NRL ladder is here. Match highlights are below.

The Sharks are one of Australia's least successful clubs in any code. They entered the NSWRL (the predecessor of the NRL, much like the VFL predated the AFL) in 1967. That makes this the club's 50th season. Premierships so far? Zero. The closest they got was a drawn grand final in 1978. They lost the replay.

But the team is running hot this year. Led by NSW duo Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita, the forwards are monstering everybody while the backs can score tries from anywhere. Ben Barba has finally found a home in The Shire.

What can go wrong from here? Everything. Because they're the Cronulla Sharks and they've got priors. But there is reason to be genuinely hopeful -- especially when teams are so fearful of you, they literally trip over themselves. Seriously, have you ever seen anything as bad as this failure to score a try? Air is an obstacle to the woeful Knights, apparently. No wonder they've had just one win all year.

Meanwhile in the AFL, the Hawks now sit two wins clear after a couple of teams in the chasing pack faltered. The ladder is here. Both Sydney teams had wins on the weekend, which means they now sit second (GWS) and third (Sydney Swans) respectively. The Swans did enough to beat Carlton, just. A moment of Buddy Franklin magic sure helped.

In Rio Olympics news, the Athletes' Village is a shambles and it's unclear when Aussies will move in. They're in hotels for now. You can read all about that here.

The other big Rio news concerns the Russians, who will be allowed to compete. The 67 Russian athletes already banned for doping offenses will not, but the IOC has decided that a blanket ban would be unfair.

John Coates, President of the AOC and an IOC Vice President, has spent the last three days advising the IOC on the legal aspects of today's decision in his capacity as Chair of the IOC Legal Affairs Commission.

"We were mindful of the need for justice for clean athletes, we did not want to penalise athletes who are clean with a collective ban and therefore keeping them out of the Games," Coates said.

"The Executive Board was satisfied with the strict criteria that has been applied and that all Russian athletes must fulfil if they want to compete in Rio."

IOC President Thomas Bach said it is now up to the clean athletes in Russia to be seen as role models, and to take a strong stance against doping in sport.

"No Russian athlete should suffer or be penalised if the athlete is not implicated in the doping system," Bach said.

In motor sport, Aussie Daniel Ricciardo came third in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton won and takes over the lead in the driver's standings. Ricciardo is third.

Oh, and Chris Froome won his third Tour de France overnight. The Kenya-born Briton had a lead of 2:52 over his nearest rival, Frenchman Romain Bardet. Then he tweeted this. Aaaawwwwww.

More On This Topic

Advertisement
Advertisement