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'Sharks can put history to bed'

Cronulla have moved to within one game of the NRL grand final with a two-point win over Canberra.
'Sharks can put history to bed'
Photo Source: AAP

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A Cronulla premiership would do more than just prove Jack Gibson wrong, says Brad Fittler, who believes the 2016 Sharks could lift the whole area.

Shane Flanagan's side will play off against North Queensland at Allianz Stadium tomorrow night, with Cronulla looking to reach their first grand final since the 1997 Super League season.

"Waiting for Cronulla to win a premiership is like leaving the porch lamp on for Harold Holt," said legendary coach Jack Gibson.

With the 2005 race riots also embedded in the history of Cronulla itself, Fittler says a premiership win would boost the Sutherland Shire.

"If you get a team and they fight through and there's a lot of blokes who spend a lot of time in Cronulla in that team ... it just dilutes those other negative memories you have of areas," the league great told SportsFan's Will McCloy.

"Those sort of things, you can start putting them to bed a little bit."

Fittler was one of the players to win Penrith's first premiership in 1991, and he also remembers keenly the feeling of winning a grand final with the Roosters in 2002.

"The big thing with the Roosters we used to love as players, and we engaged it – everyone thought we were soft," he said.

"You live in the city, you're soft, because everyone else in the city is pretty much soft. They love money and other things.

"We said we're going to work harder than anyone, and we trained harder and worked harder than anyone by far. That's why we did well, we won one grand final, we went to three other grand finals."

Click here or the video player above to watch Fittler share his thoughts on the Sharks, and let us know what you think of their premiership hopes in the comments below.