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Week off in NRL finals crucial: Maloney

AAP logoAAP 6/09/2016 James MacSmith

James Maloney has stressed to his Cronulla teammates the importance of earning a week's break during the NRL finals.

Maloney converted just one of three minor premierships into a title at the Sydney Roosters.

That was in 2013, when the Roosters moved straight through to the preliminary final.

In 2014 and 2015, the Tricolours lost week one of the playoffs and Maloney believes it cost them the title.

The Sharks face Canberra at GIO Stadium on Saturday, with the winner earning next week off.

"It seems pretty important," Maloney said at Sharks training on Tuesday.

"Last time we had it at the Roosters we won, the two years since we didn't have it we missed out.

"Rather than getting up for four games in a row week after week, you get up for one, cool off, have a rest and then get up for two.

"It is nice to be sitting at home on the lounge on the second week of finals watching everyone go at it.

"If you are straight through it is definitely the easy way."

North Queensland managed to win the premiership last season, despite losing in week one of the playoffs. But they were the first side to manage the feat since the Wests Tigers in 2005.

Maloney, who joined Cronulla this season, said he was motivated by his last two finals failures with the Roosters ahead of the qualifying clash with Canberra.

"Once you put yourself in a strong position in semi-finals there is high expectations," he said.

"Whenever you fall short it is always disappointing."

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