Flanagan lauds Moylan performance as best yet for Sharks
Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan believes Matt Moylan played his best game of the year in the club's 48-10 thrashing of the Newcastle Knights at Beanie for Brain Cancer Stadium on Sunday.
The five-eighth set up six of his team's nine tries, with an additional five line break assists, as well as a number of impressive runs, kicks and passes.
However, Flanagan still admits it's anyone's guess whether Moylan will feature in Brad Fittler's calculations for his NSW State of Origin side - if not for game one then during the three-match series.
"I think everyone in this room is guessing what Freddy is going to pick tomorrow, so I have no idea," Flanagan said.
"I would like to think so, but you'll have to ask Freddy. I thought Matt was outstanding – he got some shape on, and contributed to a fair few tries, so yeah, his best game of the year.
"He defended well today I thought ... so that was crucial."
Sharks captain Paul Gallen admits he has been mentoring the former Panther, with everything the pair have been working towards at training finally coming together this weekend.
"I have been positive with him all year and talking to him every week at training and telling him to keep working hard – and if you keep working hard good things will happen and we are seeing that happen now," Gallen said.
"He is trying and he's not making errors through lack of effort or not putting his body on the line, and that is the most important thing in our team."
While the Sharks have now won six in a row, Flanagan says it's pleasing to put on a such high score - something the team has been building toward for a couple of weeks.
"I sort of saw it coming, and there was a fair bit of hope that it would come eventually," the Sharks coach said.
"I have seen some really good signs over the past couple of weeks and it was just nice to put it together offensively.
"Whilst we have won six in a row, we have just got to put our head down week by week."
Another positive for the Shire team, is the return of some of their big-name players. It was Gallen's second game back from injury, but he was joined on Sunday by second rowers Luke Lewis and Wade Graham.
"We are getting our best players back which is crucial for us," Flanagan said.
"Our 9, 7, 6 and 1 have been consistent for the last couple of weeks and that helps a great deal so that Gal and all of them slot in seamlessly when they come back."
Flanagan is also hopeful that Lewis will not have a case to answer for after a tackle on Kayln Ponga. which resulted in the fullback being taken from the field for a concussion test. Ponga passed the HIA and returned to complete the game.