The first-year coach has enjoyed a successful start to his reign in the Shire, with the Sharks currently third on the ladder, just two points behind the North Queensland Cowboys and the all-important second place on the ladder and a home Qualifying final.
As well as the form of new recruit Nicho Hynes, Fitzgibbon has been impressed with the revival of Matt Moylan, praising his ability to take the reins in coordinating the attack and give Hynes the freedom to play in his natural style, doing what needs to be done to help the team maximise their attack.
“When we signed Nicho we didn’t want to make him a traditional on-ball halfback, it wouldn’t have suited his attributes,” Fitzgibbon told Triple M’s The Rush Hour.
“What Matt’s been able to do is take a lion’s share (of responsibility) off Nicho and allow him to run freely and get around the field more.
“Matt’s been happy to get on board and help Nicho do that – and vice-versa. (Moylan’s) taken a lot of care with his professionalism and is really viewing his footy as his craft.
“He’s been a real pleasant surprise for us.”
Moylan has played 19 games this year for the Sharks, scoring four tries and setting up another eight as a key member of the Sharks’ dynamic attack. His efforts were rewarded with a contract extension in July.
The Sharks have a favourable draw in their quest for a second-place finish, with none of their upcoming opponents currently sitting in the top eight. They face local rivals the Dragons this Saturday at 7.35pm (AEST)
Unfortunately, the Sharks are also under pressure to prove that facilities at PointsBet Stadium can meet the NRL’s standards for finals games, otherwise any potential home final may be relocated to Parrmatta’s Commbank Stadium or the new-look Allianz Stadium in Moore Park.
A decision about the stadium’s finals prospects is expected in coming weeks.