Cronulla coach John Morris has singled out his senior players following his side's 14-12 NRL loss to Canterbury on Sunday.
Cronulla coach John Morris has put his senior players in the firing line following their 14-12 NRL capitulation at the hands of last-placed Canterbury on Sunday.
The Sharks went into the clash looking to cement their reputation as top four contenders but will instead spend the bye week soul searching after allowing the Bulldogs to jump out to a 14-0 lead and failing to run them down.
While Morris didn't name names, he called out his senior players in a brutal post-game appraisal.
Five-eighth Shaun Johnson was guilty of failing to control the match when it was in the balance - something for which he was criticised for during his time at the Warriors and was a big reason behind the Auckland club telling him he wasn't in their long-term plans.
He came up with several key errors including kicking out on the full, being tackled on the last and losing the ball when it looked like he was going to be bundled over the sideline.
Fullback Matt Moylan also had a shocker, making six errors including three dropped bombs and throwing a no-look pass over the sideline.
Capping a horrible display from the Sharks' leaders, halfback Chad Townsend butchered what should have been the winning try at the death when he kicked with a three-on-one overlap.
"The game's in the balance, you're not going to look to your young blokes to stand up," Morris said.
"You're going to look to your senior leaders to stand up.
"We've got a fair few experienced guys out there, on paper we're one of the most experienced teams in the competition.
"We've got to walk the walk."
Morris described the match as "one of the worst performances I've seen from this club", lamented their 15 errors and accused his side of being "cocky" and not taking the the Bulldogs seriously.
He played down the prospect of making changes, however young playmaker Kyle Flanagan will come back into contention after he led the side to four wins from five matches during Johnson's recent injury absence.
Flanagan has been linked with a move to the Sydney Roosters next year, despite being on contract until 2021.
Flanagan is also an accomplished goal-kicker, something which was dearly missed in their two-point losses against Canberra and Canterbury.
Johnson kicked none from three at ANZ Stadium and Morris admitted it was something they will have to work on.
"You just need to knock goals over," Morris said.
"They weren't all easy kicks, I get that.
"It's two weeks in a row we've gone down because we haven't nailed our goals.
"It's going to be one of many things on our list this week to fix."