Fitzgibbon buoyed by Sharks' character

Craig Fitzgibbon hopes Cronulla can continue to build on the character they displayed in last week's victory over the Warriors when they face Canberra.

Sharks head coach CRAIG FITZGIBBON.
Sharks head coach CRAIG FITZGIBBON. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Cronulla coach Craig Fitzgibbon wants his side to channel the grit and determination they showed in their win over the Warriors when they come up against Canberra on Sunday.

The Sharks head to the NRL's Magic Round in Brisbane riding on the high of defeating the Warriors 29-10 while under significant duress.

Cronulla were reduced to 12 men in the first half when Will Kennedy was sent off for a coathanger tackle and then to make matters worse, Fitzgibbon's side lost Jesse Ramien to the sin bin and had to play 10 minutes with 11 players on the field after the break.

"(There is) a lot of character and a lot of belief in the process that we're going through at the moment," he said.

"I think when you have a win like that it really helps strengthen those beliefs and strengthen that pattern of play.

"I thought the guys have been buying in all season anyway, but just it's another point to make it even stronger."

Kennedy and Ramien both copped suspensions meaning Cronulla's backline has undergone some maintenance.

Connor Tracey takes Ramien's centre spot while halfback Nicho Hynes will replace Kennedy at fullback.

Braydon Trindall will come in for his first start of the season in the No.7 position.

"Connor had an extended period off there with groin injuries and then came back in and it looked like he hadn't missed the game, so we're confident that he'll do the job in the centre," Fitzgibbon said.

"Nicho has obviously played more as an NRL fullback than what he has in the halves and that creates an opportunity for Tricky (Trindall) to come in."

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart brings a team into Sunday's game buoyed by snapping a five-game losing streak in their last fixture with Canterbury.

Jarrod Croker is sidelined with a minor shoulder complaint with Seb Kris taking his spot in the only change to the Raiders' starting side.

"He (Kris) had a very disrupted season, he's had a couple of close contacts and had the virus," Stuart said.

"He's been out of training let alone playing but I know he's fit and healthy and very eager, so it's a good opportunity for him to start his season."