Cronulla fable Paul Gallen says departing Sharks playmaker Shaun Johnson struggled to support his caput consecutive for the nine this play arsenic helium played nether the unreality of an uncertain future.
The Sharks missed retired connected a spot successful the finals series, falling abbreviated connected for and against aft finishing adjacent connected points with the eighth-placed Titans.
Johnson missed the backmost extremity of the play with a hamstring injury, but anterior to that helium struggled to consistently nutrient his champion form.
The classy 31-year-old volition suit up for the Warriors adjacent season, aft signing connected for a two-year woody that reunites him with the nine wherever helium became a star.
However, anterior to signing that woody successful precocious June, Johnson's aboriginal was the root of changeless speculation, with Cronulla dealing with a top-heavy wage headdress and the uncertainty that comes with the impending accomplishment of a caller coach.
Speaking to Wide World of Sports for a Sharks play review, Gallen said the club's inability to tract a accordant halves pairing combined with a distracted Johnson was a defining origin successful their nonaccomplishment to marque the eight.
Asked if the Sharks would person made the finals if Johnson didn't injure his hamstring, Gallen replied: "It's hard to say.
"I personally deliberation Shaun's caput wasn't rather determination this year.
"I deliberation erstwhile helium decided to permission the nine and that the nine wasn't going to connection him different declaration helium was blessed to find determination other to go.
"When the accidental was determination to permission the nine and get backmost to New Zealand, helium did that which was just enough. He wanted to get backmost to his family.
"Had Shaun Johnson been 100 per cent and playing to the champion of his abilities, helium would've made a large quality for sure."
Gallen said Johnson's issues were compounded by the information that Cronulla were incapable to consistently tract their experienced core, with the likes of Wade Graham, Matt Moylan and Josh Dugan spending plentifulness of clip connected the sidelines.
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"They've mislaid a batch of acquisition implicit the years... they've had these young guys travel successful and the hardest happening for a young feline is to play rugby league week successful and week out," Gallen said.
"Everyone loves coming successful and playing their archetypal 4 oregon 5 archetypal people games, you're a superstar and you're truthful excited.
"It's the hardness and the toughness of the week in, week retired rugby league that gets you and I deliberation that caught up to the Sharkies.
"You propulsion connected apical of that, the large money, high-profile players that were the backbone of the broadside didn't play a batch of footy.
"Shaun Johnson didn't play a batch of footy. Matt Moylan didn't play a batch of footy, Josh Dugan played astir 10 games.
"Wade Graham, the captain, had caput knocks passim the season... their biggest names, their astir experienced players missed a batch of footy. That truly went against them."
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