Siosifa Talakai was the star of the show for the Cronulla Sharks as they held off a brave fightback from Manly to win 34-22 on Thursday night.
The Sharks are priced at 1/16 to finish in the top eight of the NRL in 2022 and continued their solid start to the season with the victory at Shark Park.
Cronulla dominated the first half of the game with Talakai running the show from the left edge. He scored two tries and set up three as the Sea Eagles had no answer.
He impressed in front of New South Wales coach Brad Fittler and did his chances of a State of Origin call up no harm at all.
"It would be hard to say he doesn't (deserve to be in the picture)," Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon said. "He's more than capable physically. He's playing fantastic footy."
Meanwhile Fitzgibbon was also delighted to be back to winning ways after losing to the Storm the week before.
"I'm really happy off the back of going to Melbourne and having a five-day turnaround into a win tonight," Fitzgibbon added.
Manly coach Des Hasler refused to be downbeat as his side’s four-game losing streak came to an end. Hasler was disappointed with the first half but proud of the way they fought back in the second.
"We shoud've competed better in the first half. There's plenty of confidence that we can take out of that second half,” Hasler said.