Sport Cronulla Sharks interim coach Josh Hannay looking to lean on Cowboys experience in NRL coaching 'audition'

05:06  15 april  2021
05:06  15 april  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Cronulla remain on track for the finals but another thumping by Penrith has provoked serious doubts about whether they can compete if they get there. The eighth-placed Sharks are four points clear of Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra, Manly and the Warriors but a couple more losses and the pressure could increase tenfold in the last few rounds. North Queensland's season nosedived dramatically from that point but interim coach Josh Hannay has at least got his scrappy side playing with some heart as they tested likely finalists South Sydney and Newcastle over the past fortnight.

NRL .com understands no calls will be made on their top-tier earners until Fitzgibbon is able to properly assess his new roster with Cronulla 's recruitment staff in coming weeks. The likes of Johnson, Dugan and Moylan are facing reduced deals if retention offers do in fact come forth. Townsend has until June to take up his option and told NRL .com recently he would wait on the club's coaching call before considering his options. Speaking before Cronulla locked Fitzgibbon in and precipitated John Morris's immediate exit, captain Wade Graham said players were in the same contract limbo as their coach .

To be made an interim coach at a struggling club at the back-end of the season is one thing - but to take over the Cronulla Sharks on an interim basis for 19 games is completely different.

Josh Hannay has again been thrown in the deep-end, after the Sharks parted ways with John Morris earlier in the week in an ugly break-up.

Morris chose to leave the club after they opted to sign Craig Fitzgibbon for 2022 and beyond, leaving Hannay to clean up the mess like he was forced to at the Cowboys last year.

The 41-year old will have a huge job turning things around, and is fully aware of the situation he is inheriting between the club and playing group.

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Josh Hannay (born 11 January 1980) is an Australian professional rugby league coach and former player from the 1990s and 2000s who currently works as an assistant coach for the Cronulla -Sutherland Sharks in the National Rugby League ( NRL ).

Sharks coach John Morris is looking forward to adding the combined experience of 672 NRL games to his coaching staff ahead of the 2021 NRL season. “It’s great news for the club to welcome Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis onto the NRL coaching staff,” Morris said. “We all know the significance as to what they bring as NSW and Australian representatives and premiership-winning players. Gallen and Lewis join another former Shark in Josh Hannay as part of Cronulla 's new look coaching setup for 2021.

“We’ve got to respect the situation and respect the feelings of every individual. They each have their own feelings as to what has unfolded," he told the media on Thursday morning.

"What I do know is, I’m not a mind reader and we won’t know until they get out there tomorrow night just how they have been affected. It may affect our performance, it may not. I can’t stand here and tell you I know how each and every individual is going to feel about the situation.

"Footballers are good at telling you what you want to hear – I will look them in the eye and I’ll ask them how they are feeling, and they’ll tell me they are good to go. Behind the scenes, I know some will be feeling it more than others.

“It’s a bit like in life, break-ups are generally messy. When the media are invoved and the soap opera that is rugby league, it’s hard for situations like this to be have a fairytale or clean ending.

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North Queensland Cowboys coach Josh Hannay is aware of the speculation around Todd Payten wanting to coach the team but he is hoping to make the decision for the organisation an easy one. Michael Morgan returns from shoulder injury.

Back-to-back NRL finals appearances beckon for Cronulla after the Sharks put some space on their prospective postseason rivals with a comfortable win over North Queensland. The season finish can't come soon enough for the beleaguered Cowboys who've lost their past nine games and are soon to announce their coach for 2021. Interim coach Josh Hannay , who said he'd interviewed for the ongoing role and hoped to be strongly in the mix, said the one-day turnarounds from Queensland were taking their toll.

"They may look back at how its all unfolded in the future and there may be things they may have done differently. I know the industry, and it’s really hard in this industry for things to be kept clean.

"I think for everyone, it is about moving on now."

Hannay has nine games of NRL coaching experience with the Cowboys, but will be using this opportunity as an audition.

The former Origin centre is confident he has the support of the playing group, and is looking forward to his future in the coaching industry.

“I’ve got a little bit of experience in this area, having been through it last year up at the North Queensland Cowboys," he said.

"One of the things that has been relayed to me over the last 48-72 hours is that the playing group is extremely supportive of me and very confident in my abilities to lead them. That is reassuring to hear those words.

"I haven’t been here for a long time, but I am confident of the impact I have had in a brief time. For me, it is about continuing to have that positive impact over this group. I’m really confident I will be able to.

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Sharks head coach John Morris.Source:Getty Images. Sydney Roosters and NSW Blues assistant coach Craig Fitzgibbon has officially signed a three-year deal with the Cronulla Sharks . The 43-year-old will take over as Cronulla ’s head coach at the end of the year, with Cameron Ciraldo is After days of speculation, Sharks chief executive Dino Mezzatesta reportedly informed John Morris he would not have his contract renewed on Tuesday. The Sharks later confirmed Morris had parted ways with the club, effective immediately — assistant coach Josh Hannay will take over the role on an interim basis.

Sportsmate - League Live. 1.8K likes. Experience every NRL game with officially, the most Graham stands tall as Sharks soar in NRL . Candidates may already be queuing up to replace Paul Green but interim North Queensland coach Josh Hannay is hopeful the Cowboys have already found their man. Cronulla coach John Morris is unhappy with schoolboy errors from his side as they enter the

“(It's a) great audition. Last year it was a short experience, but 19 games is just about a full season. I don’t look at it as a personal thing for me. All I can do and all I will do is do my best for this group at preparing them every week, and I really do believe there is a lot to play for. That will be my focus.

"I love coaching the club, and the one thing I will say is I want to remain at the club in the future working under Craig. I will be doing everything I can in my power to make sure this year is a good year.

“I’m certainly open to doing what I can to help Craig with his transition. I dare say there will be conversations throughout the year."

Hannay likened the experience of taking an interim coaching role as being like a nightwatchman in cricket, and believes he can turn it into a strong performance at the crease.

“I made that comment. I’m a bit of a cricket fanatic and when the situation unfolded, it was the analogy that jumped out at me straight away," he said.

"It’s about getting on with life. When I came to this club, I certainly didn’t see myself standing here in the middle of April having this conversation. My mindset has certainly had to shift over the last 48 hours, but one thing I know is I am standing here taking the role with a very healthy group.

"This club has a history of showing its best when its backs are against the wall. I think that DNA is going to hold us in good stead moving forward."

Hannay revealed he had spoken to Morris since the ugly exit from the Sharks, and gave some words of advice to his former boss.

“I’ve had a conversation with Bomber. He is disappointed, and understandably," he said.

"I went through a similar situation last year having applied for the Cowboys role full-time myself. I think I have a fairly good grasp on how he is feeling. He has a strong emotional attachment to this club, and I had a strong emotional attachment to the Cowboys.

"I think we were able to have a really good conversation and share our experiences yesterday.

"He will look back at some point in the future on this experience, and it will certainly help shape who he is as a coach."

Why great believes Townsend will fire up North .
As Sam Thaiday lauds the Cowboys' Chad Townsend deal, a mate is trying to lure a star with "selfie videos around Townsville".While young Cowboys playmaker Scott Drinkwater has impressed in the No.7 jersey this season, North Queensland have been in talks with both South Sydney Rabbitohs star Adam Reynolds and highly touted Brisbane Broncos youngster Tom Dearden.

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