The Cronulla Sharks will command Paul Gallen's entire focus in what is likely to be the final chapter of his career in 2017 after the club stressed he must shelve any thoughts of broadening his boxing experience in late summer.
Ricky Leutele and Gerard Beale were classmates before they were title-chasing Cronulla teammates. And the men who have essentially been competing against each other for one starting berth all year are now united in a common goal to take down their junior club's most famous export.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has vowed not to shield his grand final rookies from the hysteria building in the Shire as the club estimates up to 10,000 fans to send off the team bus
The Sharks' never-ending conga line of major sponsors was solved by a humble Google search from a man who didn't really know who they were – and he is now about to get the type of exposure marketers only dream about.
Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk and North Queensland back-rower Jason Taumalolo became just the second joint winners of the Dally M Medal after a gripping count at The Star on Wednesday night.
Johnathan Thurston used his acceptance speech moments after booting the Cowboys to a maiden title to make a controversial statement. And the Sharks could follow a similar route if they win their first premiership.
Kurt Capewell may be on the brink of a special type of grand final heartache, but it might not be as bad as actually making it to ANZ Stadium and not playing on grand final day.
They've waited decades for a glimpse of a new batch of grand final heroes – and the fans gave the Sharks a rock star reception befitting the 1970s.
What prompted Peter Sterling to dash from his commentary box vantage point and rush to speak to Cronulla's halfback, Chad Townsend would prefer to be kept private. But the Sharks' No.7 admits the words will be ringing in his ears come grand final day.
Sharks captain Paul Gallen will skip rugby league's night of nights in order to concentrate on Cronulla's tilt at a historic premiership.