Liam Tapper (@liamtapper)
It was a tough outing for our Sharks at DW Stadium against the Wigan Warriors however the lessons learnt will put our team in good stead ahead of the 2017 NRL season.
1. Grand Final feel just what the doctor ordered
Sunday’s World Club Challenge well and truly had a Grand Final feel. Just ask those who played.
With no match played by our whole squad since the 2016 Grand Final, the high intensity match was just what out boys needed heading into Round 1 against the Brisbane Broncos.
Although the scoreboard did not go in our favour, by sure that ours boys will have learnt from this match and will be better for it.
2. Wigan struck when it mattered
Buoyed by a passionate and vocal home crowd, the Wigan Warriors had the lion’s share of momentum for the whole match.
Pouncing on Sharks mistakes, the Warriors capitalised when they were given the chance.
Despite the Sharks clawing back a try after half time, the 16-0 deficit was too much for the Cronulla side to come back from and the Wigan side just rolled on.
3. Sharks own worst enemies at times
On this, it was the Sharks mistakes which enabled Wigan to have easy ball and good field position.
As previously mentioned, this was our first hit out as a full squad so cracks were expected to be there however Shane Flanagan knows where his team needs to be better and these will certainly be the focus for the next week.
Great teams come back from adversity and this team is one of them. They are focused and ready to go for Round 1.
4. Rookies will be better for the test
Both debutants Jayden Brailey and Jesse Ramien put in valiant efforts in Sunday’s match and can hold their heads high.
Brailey was thrust into the middle of the field in one of the biggest debuts a player could make and he more than held his own.
Despite one or two tough calls go against Ramien, he was able to bag a try on debut and no doubt will be able to learn from the match.
Credit should go to both rookies and they now know what it takes to play at the top level, we’re sure the fire will burn in their stomach to improve and succeed for the team.
5. Round 1 – our focus
While it was a shame we were unable to lift the World Club Championship trophy, our focus now turns to Round 1 against the Brisbane Broncos.
Congratulations to the Wigan Warriors and thank you to our fans both at the match in Wigan and tuning in at home however we now look forward.
The 2017 NRL Premiership is only a week away and this is where we go to work.
In our 50th Anniversary season, we are coming. Together, we can make history.
Be there for our Round 1 clash against the Brisbane Broncos by purchasing your tickets here today. This is not one to be missed!