Sharks' loss no happy return for Barrett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks' loss no happy return for Barrett

By Steve Jancetic And Tara Ravens 22/02/2009 05:56:32 PM Comments (0)

NRL trials are never a complete waste of time, but new Cronulla recruit Trent Barrett failed to see the silver lining in his side's 40-16 thumping at the hands of Gold Coast in Darwin.

The Sharks were as abysmal as the weather oppressive on Saturday night, a full-strength Titans side running seven tries past a Cronulla outfit lacking several first stringers and any cohesion.

While it would be easy to blame the lacklustre display on the fact new signings Reni Maitua, Anthony Tupou and club captain Paul Gallen were all sitting back with their feet up back in Sydney, Barrett said the players that did run out onto Richardson Park failed to play to their potential.

"There weren't too many positives I guess to come out of it but that's what trials are for," said Barrett, who is returning to the NRL after a two-year stint with Wigan in the Super League.

"It was a bit disappointing, you always want to win the games ... we're just glad to get through it without any injuries at this stage. We know what we need to fix now."

Asked what particular aspect his side would need to improve on, Barrett said: "Our completion rates were pretty abysmal the whole game really.

"I think we had thirty per cent of the footy in the first half and probably only completed three of them.

"You can't beat anyone with those sort of completion rates, especially a side like the Titans that are very quick."

Conversely, Titans coach John Cartwright was delighted with what he saw, particularly at the defensive end.

"Physically it's as good, in stages, as I've seen us defend," Cartwright said.

"Physically I thought we looked like we handled Cronulla a lot better than maybe we would've last year.

"I think it showed our off-season has achieved what we wanted to achieve and as a team I think we had more contributors than probably last year."

Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart is likely to give all fit members of his first-choice 17 some time in this weekend's trial against Newcastle in Cessnock, the club's final match before their opening round clash against Penrith on March 14.

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