Cronulla’s clunkiness not due to changes
Posted on 04/25/20 7:43 PM
Matt Moylan became the third player to start at fullback for the Sharks this yearShane Flanagan denies that a lack of continuity in his spine is contributing to their slow start to the season.
The Sharks are yet to roll out the same all-important spine in any two games this year, after Matt Moylan became the third player to start at fullback for the club this year.
Trent Hodkinson has also played at five-eighth despite only joining the club as a back-up half late in the pre-season, while Valentine Holmes was dropped at fullback in round two before being used there last week.
The Sharks made 10 errors in their 28-10 loss to the Sydney Roosters, as they failed to take advantage a 6-1 linebreak count in their favour.
But Flanagan said there were bigger issues at play than personnel movements when it came to their clunky attack.
“It’s a got a little bit to do with the clunkiness but it’s not the reason we lost tonight,” Flanagan said.
“We gave away penalties late in the tackle count and gifted them field position.
“Our offence looked a bit clunky in the end because of all the defence we did.”
The Sharks are at least set to receive good news on the stability front, with Josh Dugan expected to return from a groin injury against St George Illawarra next week – meaning they will have their first-choice spine to pick from for the first time since round two.
Bench hooker James Segeyaro has also been cleared of a serious concussion picked up in Friday’s loss, while Flanagan said there was no concern for Moylan who had appeared to suffer a shoulder injury in the second half.
Meanwhile Cronulla’s ill-discipline has again threatened to hurt their course, after they were the second most penalised team over the opening four rounds.
It proved a real point of frustration for Flanagan and captain Paul Gallen, as they slumped to a 2-3 start to the year.
“The Roosters like set starts, and we gave them too many set starts,” Gallen said.
“We wanted to go set for set with them and we just couldn’t do that.
“They had four tries off kicks, so structurally we were okay. But there were at least four, maybe five, last tackle penalties just giving away field position.”