John Morris not thinking about NRL finals as wounded Cronulla Sharks prepare for Warriors

Ouch: Sharks centre Josh Morris suffered a badly broken nose against the Storm in Melbourne on Saturday night. Picture: AAP Image
Ouch: Sharks centre Josh Morris suffered a badly broken nose against the Storm in Melbourne on Saturday night. Picture: AAP Image

John Morris is adamant Cronulla can still make the top eight but admitted the NRL finals were the furthest thing from his mind ahead of the Sharks' trip to New Zealand to face the Warriors.

Cronulla lost their fourth match in a row against the Storm in Melbourne on Saturday and now face a short turnaround to take on the Warriors on Friday night.

The Sharks were to fly out to New Zealand on Tuesday to start preparations for the clash in what has now almost turned into a must-win game.

Cronulla slipped outside the NRL top eight with the 40-16 loss to the Storm which Sharks coach Morris said was not a true reflection of the game, with Cronulla a controversial forward pass decision away from going in front during the second half before the badly depleted Sharks finally wilted late on.

Already without Wade Graham, Paul Gallen and Matt Moylan for the Storm clash, Cronulla could also be without Josh Dugan and Josh Morris for the trip to New Zealand after they left the field against the Storm with a hamstring problem and badly broken nose respectively.

Reports also suggest Shaun Johnson could be missing with an ankle injury after leaving AAMI Park in a moon boot.

It could be a youthful looking Sharks side that takes on the Warriors. But while Morris said Cronulla could definitely still make the play offs, sitting just two points outside the top eight in ninth, he admitted he was more concerned with simply getting a healthy side back on the park.

"We're one win away from basically turning it around. That's how close the competition is," he said.

"I know we've slid out of the top eight and we're probably paying the price for a couple of close losses that we'd probably done enough to win but we've got nothing to show for it, particularly the Bulldogs and Brisbane [losses]. They're the two that really hurt.

"Not many sides would have come down here in such a big game for Melbourne and stole the two points. But our last two weeks leading into this have certainly cost us.

"But we go to the Warriors next week and we're just desperate. We've just got to find a way to win. When we get that win we'll [take] our first step towards turning it around.

"Then we can come back home, we've got a pretty good draw for the back end of the year as far as home games go. I think we're five from seven at home. So it gives us a bit of belief that if we can just get this first one out of the way we've got a bit to play for.

"But talking finals is probably the last thing on my mind at the moment. We've just got to get a healthy team together and find a way to get that win that we need."