Sharks sweat on trio for Penrith NRL clash

Steve Zemek
Luke Lewis looks the most likely of an injured Cronulla trio to play in the Penrith NRL clash

Cronulla NRL coach Shane Flanagan has ordered his charges to offer no excuses as they sweat on the fitness of key trio Wade Graham, Luke Lewis and Andrew Fifita.

Flanagan said on Friday that Graham (hamstring), Fifita (knee) and Lewis (corked knee) were all chances to line up for Sunday's crunch clash with Penrith at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

The inclusion of the three representative forwards would be a massive fillip for the Sharks with Paul Gallen (medial ligament) out.

All seemed long odds to take on the in-form Panthers after they failed to finish last week's 40-20 defeat to St George Illawarra, however a decision on their fitness will be made after Saturday's captain's run.

Should they fail to take the field, it will mean the Sharks will be missing 997 games of experience.

However, Flanagan it was attitude, not personnel, which would decide the result.

"We've spoken about how a couple years ago we went out to Penrith, we had four or five players out for Origin and they had none out. We went out and won in a similar situation," Flanagan said, referring to the club's round 18, 2016 victory over the Panthers.

"Here on Sunday, whoever trots out is going to wear that jersey and work really hard and we expect to win."

Lewis seems the most likely of the trio to take the park with Flanagan quipping: "The last person to miss a game for a cork was me".

Fifita appeared set for a long stint on the sidelines after it was initially feared he had suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

But subsequent scans cleared him of major damage and Flanagan said there was no risk he could exacerbate the injury if he played on Sunday.

"They're all working really hard with the physios and the medical team," Flanagan said.

"We've put a lot of work in this week, late nights, trying to get them ready for this game and we're lucky it's a long turnaround.

"They all could be right or they all could be out."