Cronulla Sharks 2021

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raptalia

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0-30 half way through the second half and looking ugly. We are not physically strong enough to match it with Penrith. Fisher- Harris had a crack at our line in three consecutive plays before he inevitably scored. Fisher-Harris, Koroisou, Crichton, Kikau are strong boys when they are are allowed to run. In the past we had the likes of Gallen, Lewis, Prior and Fifita to counter but of course those days are gone.

I would just like to see us score just to show we are out there.
 

raptalia

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Cue in the rack for the season. Understandable, but tough on fans and sponsors. Will be a new ball game in 2022.

Yeah, but we will need to rebuild our forward pack with some physical strength. Penrith ran down the ground at will and we struggled to stop them. We have some young talent but we need some experienced hard bodies to go with them.

I wish we could pay Craig Fitzsimmons contract out and get him across ASAP. I assume he will be analysing each game and either ticking boxes or putting a lines through a few names. Hopefully Craig arrives with an achievable shopping list.

Beaten by the bottom side one week then flogged by the top side two weeks later. Where does that leave us?
 
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moto748

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0-30 half way through the second half and looking ugly. We are not physically strong enough to match it with Penrith. Fisher- Harris had a crack at our line in three consecutive plays before he inevitably scored. Fisher-Harris, Koroisou, Crichton, Kikau are strong boys when they are are allowed to run. In the past we had the likes of Gallen, Lewis, Prior and Fifita to counter but of course those days are gone.

I would just like to see us score just to show we are out there.

You are comparing yourselves to easily the best side in the comp there, though. There is no great disgrace in being beaten by Penrith at the moment. But they do stand as an example to other teams. Why are they going so well? Well they have probably the best halves pairing in the comp, they can both create, and they can combine effectively. A cracking pack, and outside backs with quality... But the biggest thing to me is that they look well-coached. Every player seems to know what he's doing. If they need to bring in a youngster, he fits in no problem. Likewise, although it looks at a glance like they chuck the ball around a lot, they make very few errors. It's hard to put your finger on, but the results are plain to see.
 

raptalia

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You are comparing yourselves to easily the best side in the comp there, though. There is no great disgrace in being beaten by Penrith at the moment. But they do stand as an example to other teams. Why are they going so well? Well they have probably the best halves pairing in the comp, they can both create, and they can combine effectively. A cracking pack, and outside backs with quality... But the biggest thing to me is that they look well-coached. Every player seems to know what he's doing. If they need to bring in a youngster, he fits in no problem. Likewise, although it looks at a glance like they chuck the ball around a lot, they make very few errors. It's hard to put your finger on, but the results are plain to see.
Yes, Penrith have most of the boxes ticked while we are marking time atm. We have an interim Coach and 3 or 4 big name players who should not be at Cronulla next year. It is a pain that when the Roosters want to buy a player like Josh Morris out of his contract with us they get it done while we have to wait 8 months to get an Assistant Coach like Craig Fitzgibbon from them.

You are right on the money about the halves. This is where we have to start to rebuild. We will have the money in our salary cap but have to attract the right players.

The latest is that Reynolds is going to Brisbane but we have increased our offer. We are also reportedly after Anthony Milford. The other rumour is we are not that keen on Shaun Johnson at his current salary. When you look at the number of times Johnson has, or perhaps more realistically hasn't been, on the park since 2019 you have to question if he is worth the money? Then again Murphy's law says as soon as you release an injury prone player he will play 100 consecutive games for another club.

Kyle Flanagan had a shocker on the weekend and has been dropped by Canterbury so maybe he is worth a nibble? He is still under contract but may look at an early release.
 

moto748

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Funny you mention Kyle Flanagan. I have been watching him lately, and although it's hard to criticise someone playing in a beaten side, I'll do it anyway! :D

I think he has been pretty poor, and has offered very little. Their 6, Avarillo, is very hit and miss, and no great shakes, but does at least offer a threat from time to tome, and I have seen him have good games. I don't think this spell at the Dogs has done anything for Flanagan's confidence. Milford, like Shaun Johnson, is a wonderful talent, if on the pitch. My take on him is that burden of taking control of a team of talented but inexperienced kids at Brisbane has taken a toll on him.
 

raptalia

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Reynolds has gone to Brisbane so it looks like we take a punt on Johnson if we wants to stay. I think Moylan and possibly Duggan have reached their used by date. Moylan misses too many games with soft tissue injuries and Duggan while useful is past it. Letting these two go plus losing Townsend should free up salary cap.

Milford plays five eight or full back so I am not sure where he fits if Johnson stays. We really could do with a decent no7 to go with either Johnson or Milford. The advantage for Milford is he is 3-4 years younger than Johnson but talk of us chasing him is only media speculation at this stage.

Still, the way our season is headed speculation is about all we have to hang our hats on atm.
 

raptalia

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I did some quick sums ...

Matt Moylan has played 50 out of a possible 80 games since joining us in 2018.

Shaun Johnson has played 37 out of a possible 56 games since he joined us in 2019.

This week Matt Moylan is in but Johnson is out. It is hard to find any consistency when your play makers cannot get out on the park together.
 

raptalia

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I actually thought we ran the ball pretty well tonight but once again we were out gunned. The Bunnies got the jump early and we were playing catch up. Probably 15 minutes in the first half and 5 in the second was the difference.
 

raptalia

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Came back well, but gee, that bunker call...
Tell us about it, the bunker is getting to be a real problem. They have all the time in the world and all the camera angles yet they persist in trying to find things that are not there. There was a second half Cronulla try last night that was clearly a try and the very first angle showed that the ball had been grounded correctly and was over the line. The second angle showed that the ball had bounced off the Rabbitoh's chest and been picked up clearly yet they continued with angle after angle trying to find something that was not there.

We waste too much time while the video referee follows the action back over the previous play. After the game Wayne Bennett was actually more critical of the bunker than Josh Hannay. Bennett had this to say after the game,

“If the ref doesn’t see then let’s just get on with it. There were about four tonight when the game went on and we went back … who is reffing the game? Is it the bunker? The bunker is there for the support of the referees.
“If the ref has seen it then they can pick it up tomorrow and they can charge the player tomorrow. They have all those rights.
“We’re not going to have a fast and free-flowing game if we miss the moment, we let another four or five tackles go and then we stop the game, walk back to the point, we walk back, get a penalty and we start over again.


Bennett also made the point that the NRL is in the entertainment industry and that viewers have remotes. When there are lengthy hold ups in play viewers will switch probably to the AFL. I reckon Wayne does as I do and changes channels while they sort out HIAs, Captains Challenges and look at tries from 45 different angles. He is right, let the on field ref make the call and ask for assistance where required. e.g. grounding or obstruction.
 
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moto748

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Yeah, I don't think the Bunker should be reffing the game, and whilst, sure, they should be watching everything, they shouldn't get the game stopped for something way back unless it was something really serious, like someone stamping on someone's head in back play, Also, from a tough field, I thought Townsend got the award for the day's softest on report (can't remember if he got ten too). Player welfare, sure. But there were some poor calls today.
 

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raptalia

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Hey a win. I was beginning to wonder where and how it would come. We should have been well in front at half time but did not capitaliuse on the first 20 minutes when we were all over them. What a heart stopper of a weekend Cronulla got up with a golden point and the Power fell over the line by a point against Collingwood.
 

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Not exactly playing a scintillating brand of football (in either code!) but yeah the win will be great for the confidence when we get some players back.
 

raptalia

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Not exactly playing a scintillating brand of football (in either code!) but yeah the win will be great for the confidence when we get some players back.
Speaking of that point. The FOXTEL commentators made mention of the number of players the Dragons had out multiple times but no mention of the number of Sharks players who were missing. I reckon we are a better side with Johnson, Katoa, Ramien, Mulitalo, Talakai, Hamlin-Uele etc in the side.

Dugan, Hiroti and Wilton will miss this week due to suspension but we could regain Johnson, Ramien, Mulitalo, Talakai and Fifita.


I wish they would spare us the photos of Ben Cummins putting players on report. Mr Cummins is not my favourite official.
 

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Speaking of that point. The FOXTEL commentators made mention of the number of players the Dragons had out multiple times but no mention of the number of Sharks players who were missing. I reckon we are a better side with Johnson, Katoa, Ramien, Mulitalo, Talakai, Hamlin-Uele etc in the side.

Dugan, Hiroti and Wilton will miss this week due to suspension but we could regain Johnson, Ramien, Mulitalo, Talakai and Fifita.


I wish they would spare us the photos of Ben Cummins putting players on report. Mr Cummins is not my favourite official.
I am developing immunity to commentator bias, which is rife in both sports. This is probably because I watch in silence.

I used to think Rex Mossop was as bad as commentators could get. How wrong I was.

The suspensions though were deserved and appropriate, unlike others I could mention. I guess that's a topic for another thread ;).
 

raptalia

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Sharks have signed Nico Hynes from the Melbourne Storm. Hynes is good get as he will take a spot in the halves. Dugan, Woods and Johnson have all been told to look elsewhere in 2022.

 

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Sharks have signed Nico Hynes from the Melbourne Storm. Hynes is good get as he will take a spot in the halves. Dugan, Woods and Johnson have all been told to look elsewhere in 2022.

Going to be a new look side and style next year, that's for sure. Hopefully a return to the flair I remember as a teenager in the ET/Sparkles years.
 

raptalia

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Yeah, I watched Hynes last night against the Titans and he is a real talent. Played full back last night but he looks like he could fit easily into the halves as a replacement either Townsend or Johnson. His kicking looked pretty deadly as well. I would love to get Hughes to partner him but that is not going to happen.
 

eddiesmith

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Always good to win ugly and hold on in those sort of games.

Who’d have thought our toughest game in the next 6 weeks would be the cowboys?

More than even feel we should try and retain SJ, problem is there will no doubt be a couple of teams willing to give him what he wants.
 

raptalia

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That win was not unexpected as Penrith had 5 players out and we are regaining strength. What a loss Mulitalo has been. His creativity on one edge has been badly missed. If we get Katoa back in the next few weeks we might notch up a couple more wins. We have 4 or 5 winnable games coming up.

Hopefully Wade Graham is OK. I was interested to read an ABC report that suggested Wade suffers a lot of concussion because of his low tackling style. Thus far the NRL has placed all the emphasis on the damage done to the ball carrier by high tackles but damage can be suffered by the tackler. I guess it gets down to the fact that League is a contact sport and there will always be some risk.

Last night's game was played in two halves as we looked like coasting at half time then Penrith came back into the game. Even with 5 players out Penrith still had a good side on the park so it was to be expected they would come back at us. Every now and then we seem to have a half of a game where we cannot score.

As for Shaun Johnson he has talent for sure but he misses too many games. If he took a pay cut he would be worth retaining but I reckon Fitzgibbon looked at him and saw him as too expensive for the number of games he has played. Since he joined us in 2019 SJ has managed only 39 games. Murphy's law probably says that SJ will go to another club and rarely miss a game.
 

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