Sharks determined to turn season around - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks determined to turn season around

By Todd Balym 15/05/2009 07:13:26 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla's NRL season has plunged from one disaster to another but coach Ricky Stuart is confident his under-siege side can write the first positive chapter in over two months at CUA Stadium on Saturday night.

The Sharks have dominated headlines for the past two weeks - firstly when their dire financial position was laid bare and more recently when a sex scandal involving players on a trip in 2002 was revealed in another black mark for rugby league.

The off-field dramas have only compounded the club's appalling record on the field with Cronulla riding a seven-game losing streak to sit dead last on the NRL competition table.

Their last win came on March 14 against Penrith, and since then they've endured season-ending injuries to Ben Ross (neck) and Brett Kearney (ankle) plus multiple injury setbacks to star recruit Trent Barrett.

Despite all the problems surrounding the club, coach Stuart says he is confident the players can put all the disruption to the side and secure their second win of the year at the Panthers' home ground.

"They're still mentally okay and we're still training hard and just working hard towards our next win," Stuart told AAP.

"We have had a strong mental attitude from round one and I'm very proud of the players how they're suffering from the losses but they bounce back in on Monday with an attitude of bouncing back and trying to make the next game a win that we're after.

"I have never doubted our commitment. They're always applying themselves 100 per cent.

"It would be nice (to win). We can't do any more than what we're doing and that's just working hard towards performing.

"If you perform well you're a chance of winning."

Five-eighth Barrett is a certain starter after lasting just 40 minutes in his return from a back injury against the Roosters two weeks ago before succumbing to the injury again.

Stuart said his side was a different outfit with Barrett and skipper Paul Gallen on the paddock.

"He is fine," he said of Barrett.

"That quality of player always is (a boost to the team). Having him and Paul Gallen in the team, we are a different footy team."

Despite losing their past seven games, six of them by two tries or less, Stuart said his team had been "a bit spasmodic" and that there weren't any big changes needed for his men to break their winning drought.

"Some of our performances have been good and there are ones we've let ourselves down," he said.

"We need to be more consistent in our performance and do all the little things right like completing our sets of six, not giving silly penalties away and getting all the smaller and finer details of our game better and the bigger things will come."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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