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Lewis set for Sharks NRL playmaking role

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan is set to pitchfork Luke Lewis into a crucial playmaking role in Saturday’s clash with Gold to try to resuscitate the Sharks’ flagging NRL season.

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Ben Barba will miss Saturday’s match against the fellow winless Gold Coast at Remondis Stadium through suspension, with Lewis set to play a frontline playmaking role.

Barba took the two-week holiday on Tuesday, resulting from two charges in the Sharks’ loss on Saturday to Melbourne.

Lewis enjoyed a solid return from a knee injury in the round-three fixture.

Back-rower Wade Graham was named at five-eighth on Tuesday, with Lewis set to spend time at pivot, a utility role he often revelled in at Penrith.

The Australian and NSW star is the type of game-breaking player the Sharks desperately need to help kickstart their season after demoralising losses to Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Former Norths Devils playmaker Todd Murphy spent some time at first receiver at Sharks training on Tuesday.

However, he is seen a similar type of playmaker to Sharks halfback Jeff Robson.

As a result, Flanagan is leaning towards using Lewis in a pivot role that he has had success in before with Penrith.

Lewis will likely start off the bench, before moving into the role, with Graham shifting to the backrow.

“More than anything, we just need a win,” said Sharks back-rower Chris Heighington, who will play his 250th NRL game on Saturday.

“We haven’t started the season as we hoped we would and our confidence has taken a bit of a hit.

“But we are still confident in the group that we do have and we just need a win to get things started for us this season.”

 

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