Flanagan wants more from 'clunky' Sharks
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan labelled his team's performance as "clunky" after they let a number of half-chances slip in their 19-18 Round 5 win over the Knights.
Cronulla enjoyed a 60 per cent of possession against Nathan Brown's side but couldn't finish off a number of line breaks in the second half before the Knights struck back with two tries late to turn the contest on its head.
While happy to get the two competition points, Flanagan admitted the Sharks needed to work on putting together an 80-minute performance after dozing off in the pivotal stages towards the back end of the contest and at times during the last month of football.
"We're our own worst enemy there and we should've put it to bed a couple of times and it wouldn't have been tight," Flanagan said.
"They ankle tapped us, we dropped the ball over the line twice and there were a couple of line breaks there where we couldn't find the right pass at the end.
"It was a bit clunky and wasn't our best performance but I'm just happy to come away with the two competition points.
"It was 18-6 and we made a few line breaks that we should have turned to tries that we couldn't get done.
"We just couldn't do that, they tried hard but probably just too much."
On a special day with the club celebrating Chris Heighington's 300th Telstra Premiership appearance, the coach paid tribute to the veteran and said he was pleased the side could get the result for him.
"I would've liked to have got him on in the last couple of minutes," Flanagan said of Heighington.
"It's an outstanding achievement and I don't want to dampen the celebrations today.
"He's been an outstanding player in the NRL for the Tigers and us and deserves all the accolades he can get.
"He looked 21 [again]… I knew I was going to get.
"His good games and bad games… there's not much in between them."
The only injury concern for the Sharks was skipper Paul Gallen, who was treated for a nasty cut on his head after a brutal collision with Knights prop Jack Stockwell in the opening half.
It was a spirited performance by the inspirational leader who returned to the field and ran for a total of 241 metres from 25 carries in a 65-minute stint.
"It's a nasty cut on his forehead but he's a warrior," Flanagan said.
"He was probably close to our best and once again his best and worst games are not much different."
With the defending premiers taking on the Melbourne Storm in a grand final rematch next Sunday afternoon, Sharks back-rower Wade Graham said the team needed to clean up some areas or prepare for an onslaught against the ever-consistent 2016 grand-finalists.
"I just think focusing on us, we're way off in our consistency at the moment," Graham said.
"We have patches here and there with 15 minutes in blocks on song and then today there are other patches where we're all over the shop.
"Fortunately for us we got the points today and we have a lot to look at and improve on.
"That's the big battle, every game is hard and the opposition is tough.
"It probably comes down to personal accountability because there is a hell of a lot of improvement left in us."