Cronulla Sharks halfback Nicho Hynes has taken ownership for his side’s lacklustre performance against Brisbane on Thursday night, admitting he fell away from the game plan and lacked energy.
After a breathtaking opening 40 minutes last round, Cronulla lacked the execution and polish required against a confident Broncos side, going down 16-7 at Suncorp Stadium.
Matt Moylan crossed for a try in the 19th minute, before powerhouse centre Kotoni Staggs hit back just before half-time.
A field-goal from Hynes gave the Sharks a slight edge at the break, but in the second-half couldn’t manage to cross the line as the hosts scored through Herbie Farnworth and Kurt Capewell to seal their second-straight win.
Speaking to the media after the game, Hynes was visibly disappointed in his own performance and promised to take lessons from it moving forward.
“Not good enough – had no energy and on the back-foot,” he said.
“I wasn’t working to the game plan the way we should have been and I’ll put my hand up there. It’s just not good enough.
“Everything is a lesson – you just go to training and get better.
“It’s no excuse – just because I’ve only played a couple of games here now in the halves, it doesn’t mean I can toss up that.”
Hynes came up with three errors during the loss, while halves partner Moylan and in-form centre Siosifa Talakai came up with a further two errors each.
Plenty had been made of Talakai heading into the game, with a potential NSW Origin jersey on the line up against Staggs following both players’ recent form.
Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon admitted the hulking centre was down at stages of the game against Brisbane, but wasn’t willing to single him out.
“He was a bit flat,” Fitzgibbon said.
“He had a few good classy moments, powerful carries – but he wasn’t at it like he’d been at it in previous weeks.
“We won’t be changing anything in his preparation – not just for Sifa, but a lesson for all of us is we will go and work on ourselves and our next representation needs to be better than tonight.
“I think he (Staggs) defended him a short-side carry and we didn’t get opportunities where he can use his feet and power. They were just yardage carries and when that happens, Kotoni got some confidence out of that and got himself into the game.
“Sifa kept trying and kept working away – it’s unfair to isolate one player, the whole team just didn’t execute well enough.
“It was a bit of a flat performance from us. They defended really well, but we were a bit off on our timing.
“That’s going to happen from time to time, but you’d like to be able to roll the sleeves up and find a way back and get back into the grind.
“We need to execute better than that tonight.”