Morris welcomes Storm NRL test for Sharks

Sharks' Paul Gallen was forced off with an injury in his side's NRL defeat to the Broncos. (AAP)

Cronulla coach John Morris welcomes rather than fears an away game against red-hot NRL ladder leaders Melbourne as his club seek to end their slump.

Cronulla coach John Morris is glad rather than sad that the struggling Sharks' next NRL assignment is as tough as they come, away to NRL ladder leaders Melbourne.

On form and paper, it's not a fixture Cronulla should relish after three successive losses, while Melbourne have won seven straight.

The Sharks were, however, the last team to beat Melbourne, defeating them 20-18 in Sydney in early May.

Morris said it really hurt to lose 24-22 at home to a youthful Brisbane side on Sunday after leading by ten points in the second half.

Asked about next Saturday's clash with the Storm in Melbourne, where Cameron Smith is set to play his 400th NRL game, Morris said: "I'm glad it's that to be honest.

"It's a battle we look forward to, two teams who have a bit of history.

"That's what we need at the moment, we need that mindset, we need to get that physicality back in our game.

"That's no disrespect to the Bulldogs and Brisbane over the last two weeks because they've made us look silly, but hopefully the boys will be tuned in."

Morris will hope to have Paul Gallen (glute-hamstring) and Matt Moylan available after both were forced off in Sunday's game.

He will also be hoping for an end to the goalkicking woes which have beset his side of late.

In each of the last three losses they have scored more tries than the other side but struggled to kick goals.

Halfback Chad Townsend missed all four of his conversion attempts on Sunday.

Kyle Flanagan landed his only attempt but his availability for next week could be in doubt after he was reported for kneeing Broncos prop Matt Lodge.

Morris's desire to have a reliable goalkicker meant he replaced Shaun Johnson a few minutes from the finish, though the New Zealand international struggled to make an impact.

Source AAP

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