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New coach, same old story as Sharks to victory over error-riddled team




The Warriors showed a boost of spirit in their opener under Stacey Jones but basic errors cost them dearly as Cronulla overcame a slow start to eliminate the 38-16 winners at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium on Sunday night .

While the Sharks were far from their best, they were helped by a series of Warriors blunders like bombing a certain try, fumbling the ball in the end zone and kicking hard after a reboot after trying Cronulla.

Interim coach Stacey Jones, who took over after Nathan Brown’s contract was terminated on Tuesday, was known for his competitive spirit as a player and the Warriors at least sought out the contest for the first time in a long time.

However, he will be tearing his hair out trying to find a way to instill discipline and intelligence into this outfit.

Siosifa Talakai. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“We got off to a good start and then it was a familiar result. We make a mistake and our resilience to defend it was not there. It’s as simple as that – that’s where we need to improve,” Jones said.

“I spoke to the group earlier when I first arrived and said we need to fix some areas of effort, be resilient and have steel and we got the same result tonight. I tried to keep things as simple as possible during the week with attacking stuff and it showed for that first game, but then we went back to some habits that we need to get out of this squad right now .

“I would like to fix it right away, but it may take a while.

“I love this club. I’ve been here a long time, obviously playing and I’ve been in the coaching setup for a little while now and I love it and I’ll do my best.

“I want to win football games, I just want to win and compete every week and be in the game but I want to win football games, I want this club to win football games. If we do this. we’re going to have fun doing it. I said ‘boys I want to have fun’ but to do that we have to win football games but it’s hard work.

Fitzgibbon said Cronulla had to cut the difference between his best and his worst to become a title contender.

The mythological new coach bump lasted 12 minutes for the Warriors with Reece Walsh and Wayde Egan landing for a 12-0 lead as the Sharks slept in the early stages.

Walsh’s try was the result of deft prep work while Egan embarrassed Cronulla’s goal-line defense from the fictional half.

“We missed the start, obviously, a lot of it was because of our discipline and we didn’t respond to poor discipline by defending our goal line with two single tries, so we’ll sort that out,” the club said. Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon.

“We knew that with a new coach there would be a big shift in energy that was going to happen to get us started, so to be honest to respond after that departure, I’m really happy about that.

“I’m not happy to let teams get away with it all the time. We are going in the right direction. I know what we’re looking for and I know what we’re trying to achieve, but we always let people get away with it.

The visitors fought back first via winger Sione Katoa taking in a bomb from Nicho Hynes which the Warriors failed to defuse.

After throwing the restart hard, the Warriors conceded a second down when Siosifa Talakai used a sidestep rather than his usual bulldozing approach to score.

Veteran striker Ben Murdoch-Masila suffered a horrific injury when his left arm bent at a terrible angle as he tried to tackle Sharks fullback Will Kennedy midway through the first half .

The 31-year-old stalwart, who is contracted to the club until the end of next year, faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines which is reducing his chances of representing Tonga in the Test against New Zealand at Auckland on June 25.

When Matt Moylan put Ronaldo Mulitalo over the visitors leading 14-12 and the veteran five-eighth added his own individual try, Cronulla had racked up 20 unanswered points with five minutes left before half-time.

A minute after the Warriors slaughtered what should have been a certain try for Adam Pompey, the Sharks went 24-12 at the break when Kennedy made a catch and pass so fast he didn’t even catch the ball, beating it along the baseline for Katoa’s second.

After a boring first 14 minutes to start the second stanza, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak brought the game to life by acrobatically diving into the corner to avoid Mulitalo’s clutches and reduce the deficit to eight.

Mulitalo got his revenge midway through the second term when he slipped away from the tackle of Walsh and Josh Curran to land in the corner, with the bunker controversially judging it was not a double move and that his knee had not touched the sideline despite the on-field referee sending the decision without a try.

Any hope of a late Warriors fightback was dashed in the 64th minute when a Jesse Ramien kick was comically juggled seven or eight times by Walsh in the end zone before falling between his legs for Kennedy to leap and do it 34-16.

Unlike a few other times this season, the Warriors haven’t slowed down in the closing stages, so there’s some hope for Jones and the nomadic club as they prepare for their long-awaited return to Auckland. on July 2 against the Wests. Tigers. Although there is the small matter of a clash with the Penrith Premiers next weekend before the Reps turn.

Katoa ran 60 yards after an errant pass to recover his hat-trick three minutes from the final siren.

The Sharks, who have momentarily, perhaps, passed Parramatta in fifth place to be 8-5, will play a home game at Coffs Harbor next Saturday to face the Titans.




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