Rugby League

Chris Barrett

Chris Barrett is a Sports Writer with The Sydney Morning Herald.

Setback: Chad Townsend was taken off against Canberra.

Dragging Townsend the 'shake' he needed: Sharks coach

It's not the ideal time to have been below your best - when the world's best player, Johnathan Thurston, is about to be opposite you in a grand final qualifier - but Cronulla halfback Chad Townsend's hooking in the qualifying final is 'the shake' the halfback needed.

Back to work: Paul Gallen is focused on Cronulla's preliminary final.

Gallen insists he will be back for preliminary final

The 35-year-old's back was in such a bad way that he was unable to make one last appearance as captain at the NSW awards night on Monday, but he said his condition had improved to the point where he would return to full training by Tuesday.