Raiders ruin Flanagan's debut24 July 2010, 8:53 pmA change of coach has not changed fortunes at Cronulla with the Sharks going down 20-13 to Canberra in the capital on Saturday night.
Despite the loss, new mentor Shane Flanagan seemed unconcerned post-match.
"I enjoyed it bar the result," he said.
"They earned respect."
Asked if he had changed anything after the departure of Ricky Stuart, Flanagan said there was no need to change anything in the structure of the Sharks' play.
"Hopefully I changed their attitude a bit."
For soon to retire skipper Trent Barrett, it seems the end can't come soon enough.
"We have got to get better," Barrett said.
The match opened well for Cronulla with centre Ben Pomeroy on the end of a smooth backline move to make it 6-0 in the sixth minute.
Canberra struck back through winger Josh Vidot but Barrett locked up a 7-6 lead at the break with a field goal on the siren.
In a game that was occasionally interrupted by high shots and routinely threatened by dropped balls, Canberra coach David Furner was happy to take the two points to keep the Raiders in the finals hunt.
"We needed to put ourselves in an arm wrestle," Furner said.
After last weekend's flogging of Newcastle Knights, he was happy another side of the Raiders had come to the fore.
"We are not always going to win the same way, this was gritty," Furner said.
It's now three wins in a row for the Raiders, who are threatening to slip into the top eight but face an enormous challenge in the coming weeks with games against Melbourne Storm, St George Illawarra and Penrith.
In the second half, Canberra took the lead in the 42nd minute with a penalty goal slotted over by Jarrod Crocker.
Not long after, Daniel Vidot crossed for the second of his tries, easing over the line after taking a perfectly executed flick pass from his centre partner Adam Mogg.
While the Raiders took the win it did come at some express with veteran prop Scott Logan taken to hospital for scans on a possible fracture, while rising star Josh Dugan pulled up with what appeared to be a sternum injury.
It adds to a growing injury list that includes tenacious skipper Alan Tongue, who may not return this season with a groin concern.
While Canberra will turn their attention to the maths of making the eight, for Flanagan the necessary focus will become 2011.
AAPSource: FOXSPORTS.com.au | Rugby League