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Lewis believes in Sharks' NRL title bid

It was seen as the victory to underline Cronulla's NRL premiership bona fides - but Test back-rower Luke Lewis says he didn't need to beat Sydney Roosters to know the Sharks are the real deal.
Lewis believes in Sharks' NRL title bid
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, August 31 AAP - It was seen as the victory to underline Cronulla's NRL premiership bona fides - but Test back-rower Luke Lewis says he didn't need to beat Sydney Roosters to know the Sharks are the real deal.

Cronulla's 32-22 victory over the the Roosters on Monday night was a significant win for the Sharks, just their second defeat of a top four opponent all season as they moved up to fifth spot on the ladder.

While a top four finish is still an unrealistic possibility, the Sharks now can't finish any lower than sixth, with Lewis adamant that the belief is strong within the playing group that they can do some damage come September.

"I believe so much in our side - I believe in every player in our top 25," Lewis told AAP.

"We all get along. (Prop) Bryce Gibbs always says a team of mates will beat a team of champions.

"The way he says it, it always hits home.

"We're still learning each other's game as well - hopefully we can just build from (the win over the Roosters)."

Not only can they build, but the Sharks can also eliminate what is shaping as a finals danger team in the form of the resurgent North Queensland when they host the Cowboys on Sunday.

Since sacking coach Neil Henry for the final year of his contract in 2014, the Cowboys have won four in a row, with co-captain Johnathan Thurston in ominous form.

"Johnathan said a few weeks ago that they've got to win four games, so they've just got to go out there and play footy," Lewis said.

"JT's probably back to his best, he's creating a lot of tries and a lot of footy off him and the boys are just running with it."

One man full of running is fullback Matt Bowen, who was told this week there would be no deal for him at the club in 2014.

He is still eyeing a stint in Super League, but is on his last chance at having a crack at an NRL title.

For all their hard work of the previous month, a loss of Sunday could drop the Cowboys as low as 11th, leaving their final destiny out of their own hands heading into the last round of the regular season.


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