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19 Mar 2018 12:02
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Moylan lets NRL win slip in Sharks debut

    Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan was left to lament what could have been after their NRL opening-round loss at North Queensland.

    - article from

    It was a glimpse of what was to come from prized NRL recruit Matt Moylan for Cronulla.

    Yet Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was still wondering what might have been.

    Instead of lamenting a 20-14 season opening loss to North Queensland, Flanagan reckoned he could have been celebrating a stirring win if not for a Moylan play that went awry.

    Former Penrith star Moylan showed touches of class on his competitive Sharks debut on Friday night and threatened to turn the match on its head in the 72nd minute in Townsville on Friday night.

    With the visitors trailing 16-14, Moylan tested the line and looked set to send back-rower Wade Graham away for a try - only for the ball to go to ground.

    "He had some nice touches there and nearly went through," Flanagan said.

    "If he gets that pass away to Wade Graham but he couldn't get a grip on it when he readjusted.

    "If he did that, Wade was away.

    "We might have been talking about a winning try play.

    "But it wasn't to be."

    Moylan was hammered in defence and had a game high four missed tackles but Flanagan still liked what he saw.

    "I thought he was solid, they targeted him a few times on the try line but he got his body in front," he said.

    "It was a real solid performance, especially defensively, but offensively we weren't at our best."

    Like Moylan, Cronulla's other star signing Josh Dugan had a mixed first night with two tackles busts and a first-half try, celebrated by a nod to an online game, but he made just 72m from nine runs at right centre.

    "I was pleased with Josh. He was aggressive, defended well on his edge, scored a try," Flanagan said.

    "But right across the board we all made an error at some stage.

    "We need to work on a lot. We beat ourselves there with errors and penalties.

    "We hung in there and defended our tryline but coming out of our end we gave away the ball too often.

    "I am pleased with the effort.

    "In the 72nd minute we could have won it but we didn't because of our errors."

    While Flanagan lamented the Sharks' poor completion rate (20 of 32 sets at 62 per cent) the lowlight was Cronulla debutant winger Sione Katoa suffering a suspected broken jaw in the second half.

    He was sent to hospital on Friday night for scans.


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