Hard to forget: For Todd Carney, the Sharks' 40-0 loss to the Roosters in July is still fresh. Photo: Jane Dyson
The Sydney Roosters know first-hand the damage a motivated Todd Carney can do, and the Cronulla star will have a point to prove on Monday night when facing the man who inherited his Origin jersey.
While Carney denies he is focused on his duel with Roosters pivot James Maloney, the dynamic Shark is sure to be motivated to turn in a big one.
The Sharks are still hoping to score a top-four finish. For his part, Carney says he is driven by a desire to avenge the embarrassing 40-0 thumping by the Roosters in round 19.
The Roosters, meanwhile, are well aware of the danger their former teammate represents.
''Toddy's been on fire this year - I know first-hand in 2010 here he was on fire as well,'' back-rower Mitchell Aubusson said. ''We have to do a good job on him and make sure we limit his opportunities.''
For the Sharks, the opportunity to jump into fifth spot after Canterbury lost to South Sydney on Friday night is an extra carrot.
Monday night's match is also something of a character test for the Sharks. They need to make the most of a season which has been affected by off-field drama.
''They've been the benchmark all year and can see that everything's coming together for them,'' Cronulla prop Ben Ross said of the Roosters. ''Apart from Boyd Cordner, they're injury-free and going along great guns.
''You've got to test yourself against the best if you want to be the best.''
The Sharks will have skipper Paul Gallen, who missed the round 19 game, back on deck for the home game at Remondis Stadium. Playing for the Roosters will be Sonny Bill Williams, who missed the previous encounter between the two sides.