For the Warriors, the bout of introspection at Cronulla means one thing – they’re going to be pretty fired up come Saturday.
The Sharks, under interim coach Peter Sharp, are the only winless team in the NRL after four rounds.
They go into their home match against the Warriors with injured skipper Paul Gallen comparing them to schoolkids playing up with a relief teacher.
Sharp is standing in for suspended coach Shane Flanagan, who is serving a one-year ban over governance issues concerning the club’s 2011 supplements program.
Warriors coach Matthew Elliott says Gallen’s comments indicate the type of conversations that would have been going on inside the Cronulla camp this week.
“If they’re saying that publicly, they’ve had a really stern chat,” he said.
“I’m expecting our toughest game of the year.”
Gallen is among a significant Cronulla injury list that also includes the likes of Anthony Tupou and Luke Lewis.
While the Sharks are bottom of the table, Elliott points out that their two matches at Remondis Stadium have produced close losses against sides sitting in the top four – Gold Coast and competition leaders St George Illawarra.
“That’s a fair indication of where they’re at,” he said.
“Nothing is ever as bad as you think. You look across their team and I know who they don’t have playing, but the people they have are a pretty handy crew.”
The match will mark a return for two former Sharks – five-eighth Chad Townsend and second rower Jayson Bukuya – to the Warriors line-up.
Townsend is the less experienced of the pair, with 19 first-grade appearances in three seasons before his arrival at the Warriors in the summer, and Elliott is happy with how the 23-year-old is tracking.
He has kept him in the No.6 jersey, while 31-Test Kiwi Thomas Leuluai will again provide utility cover off the bench in his second game back from injury.