Graham ‘100 times better’ for return

Cronulla players held no concerns about captain Wade Graham’s future following multiple concussions as the backrower looks to return from a two-week lay-off against Melbourne on Friday.

Graham hasn’t played since suffering a head knock against the Sydney Roosters in round 5.

He wanted to take a precautionary approach after two concussions in 15 days, especially given the seriousness of head knocks that has prompted the likes of Jake Friend to retire, but after a fortnight on the sidelines he is ready to return.

Cronulla captain Wade Graham is a big in for the Sharks’ clash with Melbourne. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Sharks prop Aaron Woods wasn’t worried about Graham’s ability to make a successful comeback.

“No, not at all,” Woods said.

“He actually recovered really well from this one.

“I think he had the couple of weeks off just to get his head right, but he said he feels 100 times better than the first time he did the head knock.

“He just got his head caught in the wrong situation in a game. The games are getting quicker, and it is just one of those things.

“It is rugby league, and it is a contact sport.

“If you speak to him (Wade) you wouldn’t even know that he got knocked out a couple of weeks ago.”

Woods can’t wait for Graham to rejoin the team, declaring his return as a vital boost ahead of a difficult clash against the Storm in Melbourne.

“It is a massive boost for us,” he said.

“It is just the man he is, and he leads by example, and his talk on the left edge is huge.”

Woods is equally excited about teaming up with recruit Will Chambers, who will face his former club Melbourne in a blockbuster clash.

“Will brings a lot of experience to us and just having him around gives players confidence running onto the field,” he said.

“We’re really excited to play with both of them this week.”

Graham returns after suffering two concussions in 15 days. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Cronulla has lost three in a row, but Woods is remaining upbeat.

He believes the Sharks have hurt themselves through poor ball control and an inability to compete for the entire game.

It’s why Woods isn’t blaming the club’s board for sacking coach John Morris before the year’s mid-season mark.

“We probably let them down because we haven’t played for the full 80 minutes,” he said.

“Obviously, we had (the coach) happen and that is out of our hands, but we have been more disappointed with ourselves.

“But the feeling is still upbeat and positive. Every game we’ve had opportunities to win, and that is probably the most disappointing thing.

“We just haven’t been able to put the sides away.”

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