Cronulla captain Paul Gallen admitted his team didn’t execute well enough in yesterday’s World Club Challenge and paid credit to a clinical Wigan side.
The Sharks came into the game at the DW Stadium as favourites, but they never got close enough to their Super League opponents, eventually falling to a 22-6 defeat.
“We dominated early with our aggression in defence but we didn’t make them pay,” said Gallen.
“You don’t win a game when you keep turning the ball over. We kept dropping it on the third tackle and kicking it dead.
“When we did turn up we gave penalties away, we just didn’t build any pressure. When Wigan got down the other end they made us pay and I thought that was the difference.”
After ending a 50-year wait to secure their first NRL Premiership in 2016, Cronulla have had a disruptive pre-season which has been marred with off-the-field controversy and injuries.
“This trip has been a bit of a rebuilding period,” Gallen explained.
“We have lost Ben Barba, Michael Ennis and we’ve also come over without Valentine Holmes and both wingers; I think you could see that we were a bit disjointed.
“Preperation goes a long way in rugby league and in the few week’s building up to this things have fallen apart with our outside backs getting injured.
“But, you have got to give Wigan credit, they gave it to us for 80 minutes.”