AAP Rugby

Woods adds ominous bite to Sharks pack

By AAP Newswire

Aaron Woods, game-changer.

The Cronulla brains trust are convinced their big mid-season signing brings the firepower they'll need when the whips are cracking at the NRL season's business end.

Woods didn't set the world alight in his Sharks debut but his contribution in the 18-15 win over the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday hinted he has plenty to offer.

Three days after his switch from Canterbury, Woods carved out 128 running metres in 39 minutes either side of halftime.

His time on the field coincided with Cronulla's most dominant period as he complemented the work of Andrew Fifita, Matt Prior and captain Paul Gallen in an authoritative Sharks middle.

Gallen was impressed by what he saw from his long-time Blues and Kangaroos team-mate, particularly off just one-and-a-half training sessions.

"He's going to be a big plus for us over the back end of the year," Gallen said.

Coach Shane Flanagan was more effusive and can't wait to see what happens after Woods spends more time on the training pitch during the looming bye week.

"The way he carried the ball, he's a big man, a big body, can get around the park well and is a good defender," Flanagan said of the 27-year-old, whose form was seemingly affected by the Bulldogs' struggles this season.

"Once we get some time with him and he can understand what we're trying to achieve and understands his role a little bit more, I'm sure Aaron will be back in his best form."

Cronulla's win leaves them still seventh but Flanagan is increasingly confident the play-offs await his team as long as they're consistent over the next two months.

They'll face just two teams ranked above them in their last eight games.