NRL News 2023 | Phil Gould has ruled out Cronulla’s last chance after a heavy loss

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A professional rugby league player Phil Gould they believe it is impossible Cronulla Sharks will make the top eight as the team swings from a 44-12 loss for the Warriors Wednesday.

While the Sharks are currently sixth on the ladder, they have only beaten a top eight side once this season, including Parramatta in the second round.

Their season has been inconsistent throughout the year, losing to the Storm 54-10 in Round 15 before going on a three-game winning streak with victories over struggling teams: the Bulldogs, Dragons and Tigers.

However, the Warriors’ results have brought them back down to earth.

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The Sharks will face three top-ranked teams in their last seven games, taking on the ninth-ranked Cowboys.

Asked if the Sharks have what it takes to stay in the top eight, Gould was pessimistic.

“I don’t think so, not with the draw they have, not with the way they are doing against the top teams,” he said on Nine. 100% Feet.

“But it also shows the big difference between the top teams and those at the bottom of the competition, that they can be winners with the bottom nine teams in the competition and not compete with the top eight teams in the competition.

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“I mean the Warriors blew them over the weekend, they were too good for them.”

Gould went on to describe the Sharks as “cannon fodder” if they make the finals, having won last year and lost to the Cowboys and Rabbitohs.

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“They are a long way from being semi-final contenders, when they get there I think they will be cannon fodder, what happened to them last year… with big goals,” he said.

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“I know Craig Fitzgibbon was disappointed defensively in the big games but nothing has changed this year.

“They have points against the weaker teams, but they struggle to get points against the better teams and their defense doesn’t last.”

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