Matt Moylan’s first appearance in the halves since 2018 for Cronulla has created a potential headache for Sharks coach John Morris.
Moylan paired well with Shaun Johnson in Saturday’s 26-16 win over North Queensland in Townsville as the Sharks claimed their first win of the 2020 NRL campaign.
Thrust into the halves due to Chad Townsend’s hamstring injury, the NSW State of Origin representative had little statistical impact on the game but the reshuffle did appear to bring out the best in Johnson.
The New Zealand international set up two of the Sharks’ five tries at Queensland Country Bank Stadium and 276 kicking metres in an eye-catching display despite two poor kicking options late in the game.
Despite the win, Sharks captain Wade Graham believes Moylan should drop back to fullback when Townsend is fit to return to the line-up.
“Probably experience-wise you’d have to go Chad and Shauny with Moyser at the back but again it’s a work in progress,” Graham told Fox Sports.
“Our injury run hasn’t been great and we’ve been forced to shuffle a lot of times.”
One area of the win that did please Morris was the performance of his right side backs.
Centre Jesse Ramien was the best player on the pitch, scoring two tries, setting up another and picking up 141 running metres while winger Ronaldo Mulitalo also picked up a try-scoring double.
“I thought they were on fire tonight, the right-side boys,” Morris said.
“I was really happy for them because they’ve been a bit clunky there at best for most of the season.
“They’ve worked real hard at training this week, they’ve sort of simplified a lot of their attack and we saw some real nice tries there.”