Cronulla at crisis point over reported player unrest, contract questions

Cronulla is at crisis point after reports coach John Morris has lost the dressing room.

Morris remains without a contract beyond the 2021 NRL season and it emerged on Monday there is unrest within the dressing room among senior players, including stars Andrew Fifita and Matt Moylan.

Morris has reportedly asked tough questions of his underperforming senior players — and it has rubbed some players the wrong way, according to The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield.

“I feel very sorry for John Morris because he was left with overpaid, underperforming players,” Rothfield said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“I’m talking about Matt Moylan, Josh Dugan and Andrew Fifita. He also lost Josh Morris this year and Bronson Xerri.

“Still in his two years at the club he has taken them into the top eight.

“But he is off contract next year, so his management have gone and asked for an extension and the Sharks have knocked it back.

The Sharks still made the finals.Source:Getty Images

“As I understand it they are going to wait 10 weeks into next season before making a decision and just see how the Sharks are travelling.

“I think this is a dangerous story when coaches futures are debated in the media as his will be it will have a very unsettling effect on the football team.”

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Rothfield reports Morris put the hard word on Moylan and Fifita by reportedly asking them to find new clubs or consider applying to the NRL to be medically retired.

Fifita has battled long-term knee injuries in recent years while Moylan played just eight games this season.

“There is all this talk about John Morris losing the sheds and the support of the senior players,” Rothfield said.

“I think this story is correct, but I applaud John Morris for the reason this has happened.

“What he did was he went to Matt Moylan and said if you can find another club go find one. And he read him out his performance review for the last two years and it has been ordinary.

“He also went to Andrew Fifita and said, you are struggling with your knee and you can’t keep your weight in order and you are struggling to train let alone play.

“Have you thought about medical retirement?

Cronulla has some serious questions to answer.Source:Getty Images

“And players don’t like being asked these tough questions or being told the truth.

“Wade Graham is best mates with Moylan and it unsettles players and Aaron Woods is close to all these boys and this is the problem they get.

“But John Morris is doing his job. He’s right these boys needed to have the chat.”

It comes after a report last week revealed the Sharks have emerged as a late player in the contract race for Panthers young gun Matt Burton.

The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio revealed the Sharks are trying to snatch Burton out of the Bulldogs’ hands.

According to reports, The Dogs have offered Burton a $1.6 million deal for 2022 and 2023 – and are hoping the Panthers will grant him an early release to join Canterbury for the 2021 season.

“Interestingly, the Sharks are making a little play for Matt Burton,” Riccio said.

“We all know the Bulldogs are in the box seat to pry Matt Burton out of Penrith, however, I understand the Sharks — as somewhat of a replacement for the off-contract Matt Moylan at the end of next year — Matt Burton is right on their radar.”

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