No excuses for Sharks' late fade
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan and centre Gerard Beale said there were no excuses for their last-gasp 20-16 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.
On an afternoon where the Sharks Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams were victorious in their respective grand finals, Flanagan was left to lament what could have been for his own team – who are now faced with the very real prospect of being equal-last at round's end.
While prop Andrew Fifita looked to have sealed the game for the Sharks in the final three minutes following his bullocking effort to score, the Warriors snatched victory in the final 70 seconds off the back of Ryan Hoffman charging down a Jeff Robson kick and some further Shaun Johnson magic to seal their fourth win of the season.
Asked if it was a dampener considering the success the club had had earlier on that day, Flanagan in turn said it was more so "heartbreaking".
"To put yourself in a position to win the game, and if we're referring to our two junior rep teams winning their grand finals I would've been critical of them if they didn't win that game with 70 seconds on the clock, so it shouldn't happen in first grade," Flanagan said post-game.
"I don't know what happened – it was a bit of a brain snap from Robbo [Jeff Robson] – he's the most consistent player at our club and he's won us some footy games in the past. He was disappointed it was around him but it's a team sport and we shouldn't have been in that position.
"Harold Matts teams get that done, and our team – me included – we didn't get that done and we should have. There are no excuses."
Beale too labelled the four-point loss heartbreaking but was hoping to turn the disappointment of losing into a positive leading into the Sharks' game against the Titans next weekend – who went down by 40 points against the Raiders on Saturday.
"I wouldn't mind using this feeling after losing like that and take it emotionally into the game next week. It's important we treat every game like it is do-or-die now," Beale told NRL.com.
"It was heartbreaking. Obviously we were on top there in the final minutes and we pretty much lost it ourselves. Throughout the game the little things added up too, we put ourselves in that position so all we can do is get back to training and look forward to next week."
With it being obvious that the Sharks were far from their best, Beale refused to read into the defeat too much by adding everything they did wrong "can easily be fixed".
"At the end of the day we didn't perform the way we wanted too and we lost," Beale said.
"It's frustrating but we'll stay positive and keep working hard at training. Hopefully we can actually take [our training form] on the field and not leave it on the paddock either."