Unpopular Opinion of the Week – Round 6

Previously a segment on the weekly SC Report podcast, we’ve decided to bring in a bit of left-field, controversial thinking to our weekly lineup of articles. Who better than a Manly fan to deliver this one! Welcome aboard Matt West for the Unpopular Opinion of the Week. This one’s designed to stoke the fire, so don’t be afraid to fire back!

The Sharks Will Be Minor Premiers

…and why you should load up on their roster

I’ll start this off by saying the Sharks are 5th favourites on some sites and are $9.50 to take out the Minor Premiership. So not a shoe in at all.

So why will they take out the minor premiership? The last involvement they had in Origin was Josh Morris 2019!


We all know about the new coach and the recruitment. Every man and his dog has (or should have!) Nicho in their SuperCoach team (46% owned).  

Cam McInnes has been quietly going about his business. Not only is he a MASSIVE loss to the Dragons, but the dual position club legend is now contracted until 2025. He is a champion player who has been eased back in. His minutes have risen from 25 to 57 in the first 4 games and his base has risen accordingly. The soon to be (hopefully) 80-minute HOK/2RF is averaging 0.94 points per minute. He is their inspirational leader on the field, a guy you want as a keeper and he’s $472k!! And if we are talking leadership, Mr. Finucane is there with winning experience to guide the ship.

Is the ‘player leaving the Storm and going to sh!t curse’ over?

Their depth is deceptive. Wade Graham. Remember him? Still to come back into contention. WADE GRAHAM!

Then there’s Origin.

They are a different beast this year with a few more possible Origin inclusions, but when you look at the team, you can include Nicho as potential bench fodder for NSW (along with Papy and maybe Dylan Walker) as that annoying “may not play at all, but many play a few minutes” utility role. How many more Sharks will find their way into the Origin arena? Compared to the Storm, Panthers, Roosters and Manly who ALL lose huge chunks of their talent, the Sharks duck quite comfortably under the radar. They will surge ahead over this period.

We know at least one Shark who definitely won’t be in Origin…

So if you add the “not that Origin-affected“ moniker along with their hugely improved play and decent depth and great coach, you get a serious Premiership contender.

I’m absolutely gagging to see their game against Melbourne this weekend. For me, it’s the game of the season thus far. “Nicho Goes Home” and other headlines will lead the way but, for me, the biggest headline will read:


They have the ability to score, we have seen that. But we have also seen their defence. And that’s what will lead them to glory.

After the Storm and Manly (who I think they will beat and who are both heavyweights) it’s a 4 week cakewalk until they beat the Roosters pre bye. THEN they play the second bye against a David Fifita-less Titans and you’d have to think they win that also.

And post Round 15? The last 10 games only feature stiff opposition against the previously massively Origin-affected Storm at home and their one and only matchup against the Panthers. Tune in to THAT!

So load up on the Sharks knowing that they are a well set up, solidly defensive unit that is going to improve as the season continues. And if you do (gamble responsibly) and put some cash on the Sharks and they win the minor premiership, my name is Mattmobster.

But if you punt a few dollars and you lose, I’m JT.

Good luck all.


Once 28th in Supercoach, out to claim past glories. Singer songwriter for Science Rockets ie " The best band in the world." Occasional SC Talk contributor, WWFC, Manly Sea Eagles and resident of the best place on the planet: Newcastle NSW.

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I have backed them to make the top four but I am not sure about them being minor premiers (but you never know). Good luck with your bet.

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