Five Key Points - Sharks v Roosters

1 Discipline better, but still not quite good enough
While the penalty count wasn't anywhere near the level of the previous week, after the game Sharks coach Shane Flanagan spoke of his disappointment in the discipline shown during key moments of the first half.

Flanagan stressed at his post-match press conference he believed the reason behind the lack of attacking flair in the second half had a lot to do with series of penalties given away late in the tackle count during the first 40-minutes of the match. 

In piggy-backing the Roosters down the field his side was forced to defend for long periods, leaving the petrol tank running on empty in the later stages of the contest. 

Yes, it was better, but giving the leading teams extra time with the ball and attacking opportunity in your red zone, will always come back to bite at some stage. 

 

 2 Cronk kicks Sharks to death
The Roosters went hard in the off-season to secure the services of Cooper Cronk and the reasons were there for all to see in their win over the Sharks. 

Four of the Roosters tries came from kicks, three from the boot of Cronk, who chose the correct time and the right kick on most occasions throughout the match. 

 Couple that with the fact the Sharks lack of discipline in the first period gifted the Roosters field position and it meant many of Cronk’s kick were in the attacking zone. 

 He has some good targets out wide however the Sharks were left disappointed they didn't do a better job of defending the Cronk kicks that peppered the wingers and outside backs. 

Chances are the Sharks will be putting in a bit of work at training this week defending kicks, especially considering the attacking weapons the Dragons have on their flanks. 

 

3 Take your chances or pay the price
Four first half line breaks, against just one to their opponents, could and maybe should have led to Sharks points and a lead to the home team but that wasn't the case. 

A combination of good scramble from the Roosters, the ball not quite bouncing where the Sharks had hoped and the odd poor option and each time they busted the line it unfortunately amounted to nothing.  

 Jesse Ramien, Matt Moylan and Jayden Brailey all busted the line, but the Sharks failed to take advantage. 

If looking for a small positive, there were some good signs in attack, but in this day and age you don't get many chances and you’ve got to take then when the opportunities arise or eventually you’ll pay the price. 

 

4 Moylan promising at the back, creating a selection conundrum 
In his first game at fullback in a Sharks jersey, there was plenty to like about the efforts of Matt Moylan. 

With a bit of room to move and the chance to float around the field and exploit whatever defensive weaknesses he could identify from afar, Moylan, especially in the first half, caused the Roosters a few anxious moments. 

Moylan had a couple of skilful touches in giving the Sharks attack something of a different look. 

Some would say its a good problem to have, others something of a nightmare, with Flanagan having three very capable fullbacks at the club when considering Valentine Holmes is extremely capable and Josh Dugan set to return from a groin problem. 

Tuesday’s teams selection will be interesting however few outside the inner circle might know who ends up playing at the back against the Dragons on Friday night until they run out at 7.50. 

 


5 The Derby, part two
It hasn't taken long for the second edition of the local derby to come around in 2018, with the Sharks having their chance to atone for their second half collapse the first time they clashed with the Dragons back in round two. 

Since that meeting, a match in which the Sharks led 14-0 before it all went pear-shaped, the Dragons have gone through undefeated and will come into the game at WIN Stadium next Friday, full of confidence. 

The Sharks are two from five and if not desperate at this early stage of the season, certainly in need of a win to keep pace with the leading teams, but the Dragons would like nothing better than to inflict a second defeat on their neighbours to continue their outstanding start to the season. 

The Derby, part two, this Friday at WIN Stadium on Wollongong, shapes as a crucial game for both teams.