Execution not effort cost Sharks
The Sharks' terrible record at Brookvale Oval continued on Monday night, going down to the previously winless Sea Eagles 22-12 in miserable conditions on Sydney's northern beaches.
Chasing just their sixth win from 39 attempts at the venue, the Sharks surrendered an early eight-point lead to lose for the second time in 2016.
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan says their record at the ground mattered little heading into the game, and that his side blew several golden chances to make it two wins in as many weeks.
"I wasn't disappointed with the effort. I was disappointed with the execution more so," Flanagan said after the game.
"I thought they tried their socks off. They worked really hard defensively. We had our opportunities to win the game.
"Benny Barba, you know, the ball bounced and hits his knee and goes dead. Andrew Fifita was over the try line twice held-up. The pass over there, if Feki catches it it's18-all. But he didn’t catch it and they ran the length of the field and scored."
Flanagan believes a controversial try ruling just before half-time gave Manly the momentum to get back in the game.
With time winding down, Luke Lewis appeared to be tackled, before the ball spilled free into the waiting arms of Matt Parcell to register Manly's first points of the night.
"I thought there was an opportunity there tonight for the Bunker to come in," Flanagan said.
"For me it was obvious that the ball was stolen off Luke Lewis and they came up with their first try."
Sharks stand-in skipper Wade Graham agreed with his coach that the decision was a turning-point, but says his team should have moved on from it better in the second half.
"The referees made a call. The decision stuck. The game is bigger than that. It's bigger than one decision. We've just got to deal with it," he said.
"I think we started the game well. To their credit they found some energy and they really had some steel in their defence to turn it back into an arm wrestle. They got the momentum and then we just couldn't get it back.
"It was there in the second half. It was to and fro and then they were probably just a little bit on top. When we had our opportunities, we probably didn't take them and they took theirs and that was the game right there."