Cleary restless despite Cronulla's slide - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cleary restless despite Cronulla's slide

19/03/2010 04:09:12 PM Comments (0)

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary's concerns over his NRL side's fragile mentality will be put to the ultimate test at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday against a Cronulla side one loss away from creating a new club record for futility.

The Sharks haven't had cause to sing the club's victory song in almost nine months, their last triumph coming against an Origin-depleted Brisbane side back in June last year.

With last Saturday night's 14-10 loss to Melbourne matching the Sharks' previous record mark of 11 straight defeats, the Warriors will no doubt go into their round two battle full of confidence - a situation which concerns Cleary after watching his side squander a lead against Gold Coast last weekend.

"Physically I thought we looked pretty good, it's probably mentally where we've got a bit of work to do," Cleary conceded.

"I guess understanding the ebb and flow of the game, when you get the opportunity to really ram it home, I think we failed to do that at the end of the second half (against the Titans).

"They're just rabid dogs Cronulla. They're just at you all the time. They're extremely competitive ... I know they'll be really charged up."

Charged up they may be, but there's no glossing over the fact the Sharks struggle to put points on the board.

In six of their last eight matches, Cronulla have managed just ten points or less, with their only avenue for victory seemingly to turn the match into a dour slugfest.

"They're a very big, physical side," said lock Micheal Luck, who will play his 100th game for the Warriors on Saturday night.

"They're a good defensive side - you saw Melbourne, who I suppose are one of the greatest attacking sides of the last decade, and they only put 14 points on them."

One of the most intriguing match-ups will be in the halves, where Warriors No.7 Brett Seymour will go up against the club which sacked him midway through last year following a string of alcohol-related issues.

Seymour was impressive throughout the club's pre-season campaign, with Cleary admitting his playmaker would out to prove a point against the Sharks.

"It's always nice to play against your old club in a way," Cleary said.

"He's just happy to be playing football I think."

Sharks winger Luke Covell said his side would benefit from knowing a little about Seymour's game.

"We know from when Buster (Seymour) was with us that he has a pinpoint kicking game," Covell said.

"Hopefully we'll be good enough to take them."

That will be easier said than done for Covell, who will mark giant winger Manu Vatuvei - who last week scored a double to move into equal second place on the Warriors try-scoring charts with 60 four-pointers, just 17 behind retired great Stacey Jones.

The match will be a significant one for Kiwi Test forward Simon Mannering, who has overcome a hamstring complaint and will play for the first time since being appointed Warriors captain.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news