The reigning premiers aren't at the peak of their powers but you'd be a brave man to count them out this September as the Cowboys stand in their way in week one.
Despite losing some of their biggest stars throughout the course of 2017, the Cowboys snuck into the eight thanks to a faltering Dragons side and will look to cause a boilover by sending Paul Gallen's side packing on Sunday.
When they met just three weeks ago, the Sharks got the points up North despite the best efforts of Michael Morgan and co. however, with an unchanged 17 heading into this weeks elimination final, the Cowboys will be confident come Sunday afternoon.
The Cowboys have scored 32 tries down their left edge this season and will look to press that side with more purpose this weekend as Cronulla's left edge has leaked 30 of the 66 tries that they've conceded as a side.
In saying that, they've prided themselves on defence in the Shire and that will be no different this weekend. Jack Bird and Wade Graham return to help the Sharks continue their premiership defence. What has hindered them throughout 2017 (in comparison to 2016) has been their error count with the Sharks ranking second in the league with 266.
This has led to them giving up 16 tries throughout the season, something the Cowboys will no doubt look to exploit.
Needless to say, Jason Taumalolo's season has been phenomenal and as long as he can continue to put the side on his shoulders, they'll stand a chance in September.
The Sharks' record at Allianz Stadium isn't glamorous (17/34) however against the Cowboys, you would have to back them in to get the win. Despite slipping outside the top four, they're still an elite side when up and about and the Cowboys' big name absence could hurt them the most this weekend.
Sharks by 8.
|Te Maire Martin||6|