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18 Feb 2018 11:54
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Sharks find NRL title blueprint: Townsend

    Cronulla have rediscovered their NRL mojo and are ready to strike over the last two months of the competition, according to halfback Chad Townsend.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Cronulla's NRL premiership defence is back on track heading into the final two months of the competition, according to halfback Chad Townsend.

    Fresh off their second bye, the Sharks are ready to launch their title assault.

    And after dismantling the Sydney Roosters 44-12 a fortnight ago, Townsend believes his team have rediscovered their blueprint for success.

    "We completed our first 22 sets of the game and for us that's unheard of," Townsend said.

    "For us to hold the ball and really get to our kicks every time and put pressure on our opposition to come out of their own end puts us in good stead.

    "That's probably our blueprint moving forward."

    Townsend said the side's embarrassing 35-18 loss to Manly in the post-Origin round the week previous was responsible for the team's turnaround.

    It marked the eighth time this season the Sharks have made 14 or more errors, while they also trailed at halftime for the seventh consecutive game.

    "We probably got a little bit too comfortable with the way we were going about our business," Townsend said.

    "Everyone addressed that we needed to change something, we couldn't just keep cruising the way we were doing."

    Sitting second and two points behind leaders Melbourne, Cronulla's next month of opponents features four teams all out of the top eight.

    However they face something of a bogey team in Gold Coast this week.

    The Titans beat the Sharks this season, and ended their winning run in the corresponding game last year with an 18-18 draw.

    Returning hooker James Segeyaro will face a fitness test before the clash, to see if he is ready to return from a broken arm.

    They'll also take an extended squad north, after coach Shane Flanagan suggested last month he would likely rest his Origin stars in the post-representative round after their lacklustre performance against Manly.

    "We've had a fair few struggles against the Titans over the past couple of years,' forward Chris Heighington said.

    "They're a big enthusiastic team.

    "We've got our benchmark now and hopefully we can build off that."


    NZN




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