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Warriors coach Stacey Jones wants to 'break some habits' after another loss to Sharks

By AAP
(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Warriors have fumbled another early lead in a 38-16 loss to Cronulla as NRL life under Stacey Jones began the way it ended under Nathan Brown.

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Up 12-0 and playing sparkling football fresh off Brown’s abrupt exit, the Warriors completed just one set in the next 15 minutes as the Sharks ran in three tries.

A restart kicked out on the full didn’t help and another knock-on led to Matthew Moylan strolling over for a fourth try, before Sione Katoa made it five before halftime.

Winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak sprung like a pole-voter to conjure a Warriors try to begin the second half and offer some hope.

But again mistakes crippled their comeback in Redcliffe, with Sharks fullback Will Kennedy planting a loose ball fumbled by opposite number Reece Walsh a staggering eight times before he finally dropped it.

The Warriors’ inconsistent night followed the script of their last meeting at their adopted home against Newcastle a fortnight ago and ensured caretaker coach Jones plenty of headaches as the club looks to salvage a 4-10 season.

“We have to lift some effort areas, being resilient and having some steel, but it was the same result,” Jones lamented.

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“We just fell back into some habits they’ve got to get out of. I’d like to fix it straight away but it might take some time.”

Aside from his memorable fumble, Walsh was otherwise solid, playing with confidence and breaking a 15-game scoring drought with his first-half try.

Earlier Ronaldo Mulitalo was awarded his second try on review, somehow keeping his leg in the air over the sideline to the approval of the bunker, who reversed the on-field, no-try soft ruling.

With Katoa completing a hat-trick, Cronulla scored eight tries to three.

The fact many were scored near the sideline, however, didn’t help the goalkicking of Nicho Hynes, who made three of eight off the tee.

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Victory for the Sharks (8-5, fifth) meant they avoided their first back-to-back losses of the season.

Siosifa Talakai managed 206 running metres, while Hynes called the shots with precise end-of-set kicking as both pressed their cases for State of Origin call-ups for Game II in Perth in a fortnight.

Cronulla’s first-year coach Craig Fitzgibbon was happy to escape but said the challenge remained to reduce the difference between their best and worst.

“We knew with a new (Warriors) coach, possibly a big energy shift is going to happen,” he said.

“So to respond after that start, I’m really happy about that.

“Physically we were there, mentally we just wobbled in and out of the game.”

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Shaylen 9 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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