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John Morris considers Wade Graham switch for finals

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26th September, 2020
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Cronulla coach John Morris is toying with the option of playing Wade Graham in the halves for next week’s NRL elimination final against Canberra.

With Chad Townsend to come back into the squad from suspension and Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan sidelined, Morris needs a five-eighth for the sudden-death clash.

This season he has used Braydon Trindall and Connor Tracey as back-up options, but he gave Graham a trial in Saturday’s 38-28 loss to the Raiders.

It was a mixed night for the Australia and NSW representative, who kicked a short drop out right into the lap of waiting Raiders winger Harley Smith-Shields who scored.

He later kicked another ball out on the full.

But he also scored a try and created enough chances for the Sharks for Morris to consider the switch again next week to partner Townsend.

“Losing Shaun Johnson in the halves, there goes 200 games and 30 Test matches out of your spine so I wanted to have a look at Wade there,” Morris said on Saturday.

“He had some nice touches, scored a try and had a hand in another one. 

“We didn’t help him because we had eight errors coming out of our own end so we weren’t able to get any flow in the game.

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“We wanted to come here and play well to try and get some momentum and confidence going into next week but it is hard when you also have a lot of key players out.

“We are in a position where we have got a pretty healthy squad going into next week and we have got to build for what is going to be a huge game.

“We have got to flush that pretty quick and get our full team back and jump into finals. We are pretty excited about what is ahead.”

Along with Townsend, the Sharks are expected to bring back Blayke Brailey, Jesse Ramien, Josh Dugan, Sione Katoa, Siosifa Talakai and Toby Rudolf for next week’s do-or-die match in Canberra.

© AAP