It was a disappointed Shane Flanagan who spoke to Sharks TV from the home sheds at Southern Cross Group Stadium last night in the first instalment of the CrownBet Cooldown, the coach firm in his belief that errors and a lopsided penalty count had proven too big a hurdle for his team to overcome.
“Ten errors with the ball and 10 penalties, they have five and five, it was exactly the same in the World Club Challenge, we just turned the ball over too much and you can’t win footy games doing that.
“We need to be better than that, but we were still in the game with 10 minutes to go, even on the back of all those errors and penalties, so there’s character there. But you can’t win football games making errors, whether it’s in the under 8’s or the NRL,” Flanagan said.
Behind 20-6 the Sharks battled back with tries to James Maloney then Ricky Leutele and at 20-18 were coming home with a wet sail.
An unlucky penalty when Jack Bird caught a rebound kick in an off-side position, which led to an Anthony Milford try just minutes later, put an end to the Sharks fightback.
“That was a crucial moment in the game and it was just bad luck. That kicked the ball into Gal and it just ricocheted back into Birdy’s hands and that’s a penalty. Then they go up the other end, put some pressure on us and on the last play Milford scores a try,” Flanagan said.
“If it goes the other way were up the other end attacking their try line and we might get a late try. But you take the good with the bad and we were our own worst enemy most of the night.”
See Flanagan’s interview for the CrownBet Cooldown, now playing on Sharks TV