What Gus told Fitzy before he reshaped Sharks

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Rugby league guru Phil Gould says helium personally challenged Sharks manager Craig Fitzgibbon to bring a captious but hard to replicate portion from the Roosters to Cronulla.

Fitzgibbon has emerged arsenic a imaginable campaigner for NRL manager of the year, with the Sharks presently successful the top-four with six wins from 9 games.

An bonzer show from his side, beating the Warriors with 12 men for the bulk of the lucifer and 11 for the closing stages connected Sunday person further made the contention beryllium up and instrumentality notice.

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Clearly an unthinkable translation is underway, with Fitzgibbon already giving backing to those who said helium would beryllium the NRL's adjacent large manager during his tenure nether Trent Robinson, with the brace masterminding 3 premierships unneurotic successful 2013, 2018 and 2019.

Fitzgibbon bided his time, turning down respective NRL jobs earlier accepting the occupation astatine Cronulla, successful a determination that rocked the competition.

At that constituent the astonishment was much that John Morris was being fto spell than Fitzgibbon was getting an opportunity. Morris, a beloved Sharks subordinate who jumped consecutive into coaching astatine the property of 30, had taken the Sharks to the finals successful 2020, yet was sacked a twelvemonth later.

Gould, who coached and enjoyed Origin occurrence with Fitzgibbon, has ever been a large protagonist of the hard seed erstwhile second-rower. Having witnessed his champion triumph arsenic a manager connected Sunday, Gould claims determination are already signs the 44-year-old volition beryllium a vocation manager successful a akin mould to Wayne Bennett, Craig Bellamy and Des Hasler.

Sharks players observe during a caller triumph implicit the Warriors (Getty)

"He's been doing a batch of bully things astatine the Roosters for a agelong play of time... they brought him backmost to the Roosters [after helium retired] knowing his quality and property is successful the Roosters' culture. He's instilled that successful a batch of the teams he's been associated with," Gould said connected Wide World of Sports' Six Tackles with Gus podcast.

"He had a precise large work with the Roosters and handled it well, which was wherefore helium got recognised by a nine similar the Sharks to travel and beryllium the caput coach.

"Not lone has helium done that, but he's gone retired and recruited a mates of truly bully adjunct coaches."

Gould revealed helium spoke to Fitzgibbon erstwhile helium archetypal took the relation astatine Cronulla and challenged him connected whether helium could find assistants of a akin ilk who could instrumentality connected the relation he'd excelled successful astatine the Roosters.

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And it seems he's managed conscionable that, starring a coaching unit that consists of Josh Hannay, the caretaker manager astatine Cronulla past twelvemonth pursuing Morris' exit, arsenic good arsenic Daniel Holdsworth and erstwhile Dragons caput manager Steve Price.

"The lone happening I said to Craig erstwhile helium got the job, I said 'who's going to beryllium your Craig Fitzgibbon?'" Gould revealed.

"Trent Robinson's had the luxury of having Craig Fitzgibbon moving for him for each these years.

"The adjunct coaches are truthful important to the caput coach, they bash a batch of the hands-on worldly and a batch of the hack enactment astir the players - they're the ones that person the truly adjacent relationships with them.

"I said, 'Who's going to beryllium your Craig Fitzgibbon and the things you've been doing arsenic an adjunct manager [at the Roosters]? Are you going to beryllium capable to delegate those to others and spot what they do?'

"Josh Hannay stayed with him... and helium brought Steve Price backmost from England, a erstwhile first-grade manager who's had large occurrence successful the UK.

Steve Price during his clip with the Warrington Wolves successful the Super League (Getty)

"He's truly gone and got immoderate extent of endowment successful that respect arsenic good to assistance him, but determination is nary uncertainty the Sharks arsenic a shot nine present look precise antithetic to what they looked similar 12 months ago.

"The quality and property of this squad are precise successful keeping with what we knew of Craig arsenic a player. He's been capable to instil that successful his fitness, enthusiasm, grit, and his determination."

Gould said Fitzgibbon's traits were embodied by the players connected the tract against the Warriors arsenic an undermanned broadside repeatedly repelled their opposition.

"When you spell into games similar that and you person your backs against the partition and consciousness that you tin inactive triumph adjacent though things person gone against you. The harder you train, the harder you work, the harder it is to springiness up. They couldn't springiness up," Gould said.

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"Once it got to the constituent wherever they were inactive in... I said it with 20 minutes to go, I'm not looking astatine them losing. I felt that mode 10 minutes earlier half-time.

"When it got down to 12 men and 11, that was an casual modulation for them. That wasn't 'Oh we're gone now', that was 'you quality - propulsion thing else'.

"When the Roosters were astatine their bristling best, a batch of those traits are successful this Sharks squad present successful the mode they beforehand the ball, deed the shot up, support and enactment for each different successful defence."

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