Cronulla join the chase for Moylan

Sunday News - - LEAGUE - ADAM PENGILLY

THE Sharks have ramped up their pur­suit of Matt Moylan in the hope the rep­re­sen­ta­tive star will be granted a re­lease from the Pan­thers.

De­spite a host of clubs cir­cling Moylan should he hit the open mar­ket, Cronulla have rolled out the red car­pet in a bid to reignite their pre­mier­ship am­bi­tions.

Moylan, 26, who is con­tracted un­til the end of 2021, has been re­ported to be in­ter­ested in join­ing Trent Bar­rett at Manly should the Pan­thers de­cide to sever ties.

But the Sharks’ in­ter­est has only in­ten­si­fied since Pen­rith were bun­dled out of the fi­nals by Bris­bane last week as they look to add to their play­mak­ing stocks.

Moylan’s po­ten­tial ar­rival at Cronulla would al­low the Sharks the op­tion to grant James Maloney a re­lease and chase a more lu­cra­tive deal else­where, while pro­vid­ing coach Shane Flana­gan with a ready-made re­place­ment who could still have his best years in front of him.

But the Pan­thers are try­ing to man­age Moylan’s sit­u­a­tion, which saw the five-eighth bat­tle a ham­string com­plaint late in the sea­son be­fore be­ing granted leave on the eve of the fi­nals se­ries.

Moylan and his man­age­ment haven’t asked for a re­lease and there are no guar­an­tees they will do so, de­spite his ap­par­ently strained re­la­tion­ship with coach An­thony Grif­fin, who has de­manded his cap­tain put more em­pha­sis on his in­jury re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Grif­fin went as far to say Moylan’s in­clu­sion for the clash with the Bron­cos wouldn’t have had a huge in­flu­ence on the re­sult, de­spite Pen­rith los­ing rookie No 6 Ty­rone May to a longterm knee in­jury in the first half.

Moylan is said to be work­ing through his is­sues with the Pan­thers, but is no guar­an­tee to be there when pre-sea­son train­ing be­gins in Novem­ber af­ter strug­gling with the cap­taincy.

The Sharks are des­per­ate to cor­rect their dis­ap­point­ing fade out in their ti­tle de­fence, bow­ing out against the Cow­boys in con­tro­ver­sial cir­cum­stances. And they see Moylan as a key piece of that puz­zle with room to move un­der the salary cap.

Chad Townsend is locked up be­yond next year, Flana­gan’s son Kyle is on the brink of an NRL call-up and Valen­tine Holmes steadily made the tran­si­tion to the No 1, while Maloney’s fu­ture is up in the air.

Moylan could re­unite with Pen­rith old boys Wade Gra­ham, Luke Lewis and James Sege­yaro in the Shire and help re­gen­er­ate a Sharks ros­ter that has been un­der­pinned by hard heads Paul Gallen, Chris Heigh­ing­ton and Lewis in re­cent years. The Sun-Her­ald

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