Sharks star racing clock to face Manly

Cronulla hope fullback Matt Moylan will return from a hamstring injury and face Manly.
Cronulla hope fullback Matt Moylan will return from a hamstring injury and face Manly.

Cronulla fullback Matt Moylan is likely to be given until Friday to prove his fitness and face Manly in their sudden-death NRL final on Saturday.

Moylan has missed the Sharks' past three matches after aggravating a hamstring injury in their round-22 win over St George Illawarra.

He was named in their 21-man squad and trained lightly on Wednesday.

"He ran well today so I think the coaching staff will probably give him up to captain's run to see how he goes," halfback Chad Townsend said on Wednesday.

"Last Wednesday he had an excellent session, trained the whole session, did everything, and then pulled up a bit sore at captain's run. It's touch and go."

Moylan's possible inclusion would cause a reshuffle in their backline, with either Josh Dugan or Josh Morris likely to take the place of Aaron Gray on the wing.

His return could be a risk for a Sharks side whose only loss in the past month was a thrilling one-point defeat to Canberra at home.

Townsend conceded the side play differently with the ball-playing Moylan at fullback compared to the ball-running Dugan.

The 28-year-old Moylan, a former Kangaroos representative, has been limited to just 11 games in what has been a frustrating campaign.

"Obviously both players bring a different dynamic to our team," Townsend said.

"Moyza's obviously got a lot of skill, a lot of passing in him. And Duges is such a big, physical threat, strong ball runner.

"So our style of play definitely changes a little bit.

"But throughout the season, myself and other members of the spine, we've had enough footy with both Josh and Matt to know what we need to change."

Sharks five-eighth Shaun Johnson said Moylan's strengths were prominent on a dangerous left edge that includes Wade Graham and Bronson Xerri.

"He'd probably just unlock that edge a little more, which is pretty scary," he said.

"And then obviously with Dugie at the back, you get that robust kick return, gets you on the front foot pretty well."

Johnson also dismissed Cronulla's record at Lottoland, where the club has won just five of their 46 games at the suburban venue.

It will be the New Zealand international's first visit to Brookvale at first-grade level, along with another six teammates.

"This team that we've got right now, did they play them there last year? They didn't, so it's completely irrelevant. It's an irrelevant topic to me," Johnson said.

"If we start putting our energy into that, what's the point? What are we doing here?

"We've got things that we want to focus on - go out there with a good attitude and I'm pretty sure it's not going to have to do with being a bogey team."

Australian Associated Press