Tupou says forwards let Barba down
Sharks second-rower Anthony Tupou has backed Ben Barba to fire and insisted there is no expectation for the under-fire five-eighth to play like previous No.6 Todd Carney.
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan said after the Sharks 10-2 loss at the hands of the Broncos on Friday night that Barba has had some difficulty fitting into the Sharks style of play, suggesting some players were expecting him to play like the dynamic Carney.
"Not going backwards too far but the previous five-eighth we had used to get his hands on the ball and he used to run it a fair bit and the players are probably used to that in the club," Flanagan said.
However Tupou defended his new teammate saying he doesn't need to be playing like anyone but himself.
"There's no expectation from us," Tupou told NRL.com.
"It's the forwards job to set him up to play his game and we aren't doing that yet. He's going good, he will fire when we are doing our job and holding onto the ball for him."
Tupou insisted that it was the forwards' responsibility to give Barba and halves partner Jeff Robson more attacking chances.
"It's not the halves fault, we just aren't giving them enough opportunities down that end. We're dropping the ball, we dropped it around 11 times, we can't do that and then blame the halves."
Disappointed that his side couldn't make amends for their handling errors last week Tupou added, "we sort of killed ourselves again, twice in a row isn't good enough".
"That's what we need to fix up. I don't know how," Tupou said of the handling errors.
"We can't put it in the front of our minds and put pressure on ourselves, we've just got stop doing it somehow."
The Sharks have now lost their last nine straight matches at their home ground, a fact that wasn't taken lightly by their experienced second-rower.
"That's the most disappointing part, " Tupou said.
"We want to rip in here and we want it to be a place where we win all the time. We want to create a good culture here and we have to start now."
It doesn't get much easier for the Sharks as they take on the Storm next Saturday in Melbourne.