Resilient Sharks yearn NRL finals crack

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Cronulla coach Josh Hannay hopes the Warriors play "the game of their life" on Sunday to ensure the Sharks' NRL life continues into a finals campaign that looked a world away earlier this season.

The Sharks missed a chance to book their top-eight spot on Friday night, losing 28-16 to Melbourne.

They'll now wait for Sunday's penultimate fixture of the regular season to learn their finals fate, Gold Coast able to replace them in the top eight if they beat the Warriors by 12 points or more.

Regardless, the Sharks' resurgence under caretaker coach Hannay has been impressive, the club at one stage sitting equal second last with a 2-8 record after coach John Morris had been axed.

"They are a resilient bunch and resilience is something that doesn't come easy to young players but they have it," Hannay said.

"These guys, they want to play again, they want another chance.

"They looked a little flat tonight, but I back these guys to be up for the occasion.

"We've got a pulse so we'll hope and pray that things go our way on Sunday.

"We'll be hoping they (the Warriors) play the game of their life on Sunday."

Fullback William Kennedy and winger Sione Katoa continued their fine combination on Friday on the Gold Coast to show they'd be a handful in the post-season.

Kennedy's fast hands put Katoa over for his second try of the night, both flying efforts in tight space that enhanced his reputation as one of the game's great finishers.

"Will's been great all year and I'm really happy for Sione," Hannay said.

"Being away from his family has been really tough on him, I can't tell you how much.

"But the way he's bounced back the last two or three weeks, he's back to his best.

"Day in, day out it's a hard slog for Sione but he comes to the game and does what he does ... he's been awesome."

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