Sharks halves still misfiring: Flanagan

Steve Zemek

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has delivered a sobering message to halves Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend, declaring their combination still isn't where it needs to be.

The Sharks jumped into seventh - and into the top eight for the first time - after recording their third consecutive NRL win, against Parramatta on Saturday night.

For the most part, the 22-20 victory was the Sharks' most composed effort of the year.

However, that almost came crashing down after three tries in five minutes gave the Eels a chance to send it into extra-time - only for Mitchell Moses' clutch conversion attempt to sail left of the uprights.

Central to the result were the efforts of Townsend and Moylan.

Townsend set up two of the Sharks' four tries and came up with three linebreak assists.

Outside of a few off moments - such as dropping the ball twice in the first-half and mis-kicking into touch - Moylan had his best game in a Sharks jersey.

However, asked for his appraisal of his No.6 and No.7, Flanagan said: "Their combination is building, it's nowhere near where it needs to be.

"But it's definitely building."

Flanagan's feelings were mixed after his side almost gave up a 22-8 lead with five minutes remaining.

However, he described Townsend's efforts as diligent after he delivered arguably his best effort of 2018.

"He tries his butt off week in and week out," Flanagan said.

"Some days it doesn't go the best for him.

"But halves in the modern era, they're under a fair bit of defensive pressure. And then they're scrutinised pretty heavily offensively.

"If teams don't score points then they're looking at their halves."