Sharks demolish Warriors in Flanagan’s return as head coach

Todd Carney

All the talk and build-up before, during and after the game was about his return, but if you ask Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, he just wants the media attention to cease, as in his first game back in charge, his side was far too good for a poor New Zealand Warriors side, winning 28-4.

Flanagan, who was initially stood down for the club as ASADA conducted their drugs investigation into the club, is merely concerned about winning games.

“I’m sick of the attention to tell you the truth,” Flanagan said.

“Gal (Paul Gallen) thinks I’m loving it but I just want to coach the footy team now.

“We got the job done. It wasnt tidy in the second half but we did enough in the first.”

It was the first half in particular that stuck out to Flanagan, as he praised his side for their clinical execution and solid play early on.

“We were really clinical in that first half,” Flanagan said.

“We stuck to our plan, went through middle of them and went to the back-rowers which is our strength.

“I was disappointed with our second half but sometimes that happens in these games, especially on hot days.”

For the New Zealand Warriors, it is now about finding some answers as they were held to just 4 points and have failed to score a try in the first half this season – with Matt Elliott admitting that the side needs some answers.

“We need to have a look at our preparation, there’s some work to do,” he said.

“We’ve lost some players to injury so we’re asking a lot of young inexperienced players to play top quality opposition.”

They suffered a blow before the game, with winger Glen Fisiiahi forced to withdraw after losing his sister to cancer.

“Glen is someone we all really care about but he is not in a good shape at the moment.

“We had our reasons to play well and didn’t.”

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