Cronulla’s goal-kicking issues have reared their head once more with the Sharks copping a heartbreaking 12-10 loss to Canberra in Kogarah on Sunday night time.
Chad Townsend has taken over kicking duties whereas Shaun Johnson is sidelined, with the Sharks halfback lacking three of 4 pictures at aim together with two to degree the sport within the ultimate minutes.
The Sharks had rallied towards a horrible 67 per cent completion price to combat their means again into the match and a penalty with one minute left on the clock gave them the proper probability to ship the sport into golden level.
Nonetheless, Townsend’s poor night time with the boot was the distinction in what was a scrappy affair for either side in Wade Graham’s 250th NRL sport.
Sharks coach John Morris refused to put blame at Townsend’s toes, saying low-cost turnovers and a poor completion price spoiled their possibilities.
“He kicked six from six final week, Chaddy, and he is been excellent all pre-season,” Morris mentioned.
“For those who may see the quantity of labor he places into his aim kicking, he is a real skilled and that is why he’d be actually disillusioned in himself, nevertheless it should not come right down to that.
“The 18 errors within the sport takes it toll, not goalkicking.
“”Like all playmaker they most likely put on it on themselves.
“I have not spoken to him personally, nevertheless it’s not about Chad Townsend. He arrange two tries as effectively.”
The Raiders had dominated the match with two tries, ball management and excessive possession till all of it fell aside within the ultimate 20 minutes.
Poor execution labored its means into their assault, turning the ball over a number of instances on the road earlier than a penalty with eight minutes on the clock gave the Sharks the prospect they wanted.
Wingers Bailey Simonsson and Ronaldo Mulitalo launched to compete for a Townsend bomb however neither took maintain of it, leaving the unfastened ball free for Josh Dugan to pounce and rating.
Townsend could not convert from the sideline and later missed a penalty kick on fulltime to take the sport to golden level.
“I believed he’d right his final kick, I believed he’d get it,” mentioned Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
“However I can promise you I’ve misplaced lots of these shut video games too, so I am completely happy to be on the opposite finish of that.”
Conversions have been an issue for the Sharks in previous seasons.
In 2019 they misplaced at the least 5 video games the place that they had scored extra tries than their opponent, however Morris mentioned he is not involved that the identical factor can occur this season.
Will Kennedy continued his audition to assert the Sharks’ No.1 jersey full-time together with his third strive in two weeks when he cleaned up a neat grubber kick from Townsend 55 minutes in.
The 23-year-old has a lock on the job for at the least one other six weeks, however will drive Morris to decide as soon as Johnson returns from an Achilles harm.
The star half is anticipated to return by spherical eight or 9, with common fullback Matt Moylan filling in at five-eighth.
In the meantime, Sebastian Kris put additional stress on coach Ricky Stuart to discover a place for him within the aspect when Jarrod Croker returns with one other assured efficiency on the left edge.
The 22-year-old was robust in defence and scored the primary strive halfway by way of the primary half, whereas Josh Hodgson put Hudson Younger over on halftime for a 12-0 lead.
Croker has totally recovered from shoulder surgical procedure and is an opportunity to return subsequent week.
In the meantime, with Jesse Ramien suspended for an additional fortnight, Morris could must lean on his lean centre depth after hooking alternative Marwene Hiroti after quite a few errors early within the second half.