Coach swap no guarantee for Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coach swap no guarantee for Sharks

By David Beniuk 23/07/2010 04:49:56 PM Comments (0)

There are a stack of reasons why Cronulla can beat Canberra in Saturday's NRL clash, but a mid-season change of coach is not one of them.

Statistics reveal the belief that a new boss significantly increases the chances of victory the following week is a myth in the NRL.

The past 14 handovers have resulted in just six wins the next weekend, according to stats guru David Middleton's League Information Services.

On those figures the Sharks, whose former mentor Ricky Stuart called it quits following last week's 48-18 shellacking by Manly, are only a 43 per cent chance of handing new boss Shane Flanagan a first-up victory at Canberra Stadium.

"We would like to get him off to a winning start," retiring captain Trent Barrett said.

"He's been given the job a bit earlier than (we) thought.

"We're all disappointed to see Ricky go, he was a good mate of ours and a very good coach, but we've got to do the right thing by Flanno now.

"He's been under Sticky (Stuart) for seven years and been involved in a lot of big games - grand finals, Origins, Test matches.

"It's an opportunity he's waited for a long time and he'll do very well.

"Flanno has his own ideas about how he wants to play and what we do at training but I don't think he's going to change too much in the next seven weeks."

Cronulla will need to overcome a Raiders outfit which demolished Newcastle 52-18 last Sunday, but it's not all doom and gloom for the Sharks.

They have not lost in Canberra since 2004 and have won five of their past six against the Raiders.

Even better, Canberra have lost the week following a score of 50 or more on eight of the past nine occasions.

"They were good (against Newcastle), I watched that," Barrett said.

"They've got some players playing with a lot of confidence at the moment.

"(Josh) Dugan at fullback and their halves are playing very well.

"It's a huge game for us, I think it's about us having a real good attitude for the rest of the year and finishing the best we can."

The 32-year-old five-eighth returns from a shoulder injury after confirming this week that 2010 will be his last season.

Scott Porter has been recalled to play halfback, with Tim Smith sidelined with a back problem.

Meanwhile, Cronulla's round 21 opponents the Wests Tigers should be quaking in their boots.

Those 14 mid-season coach swaps have resulted in 11 wins in the second game after the handover.

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