If Cronulla Sharks coach was in any doubt about just how difficult it would be to defend the clubs 2016 NRL premiership win, he’s now had both eyes opened to the task ahead.

The Sharks took on the Broncos at home last night and despite closing to within two points midway through the second half, went down 26 – 18.

Flanagan (pictured) says while his side battled gamely, the rub off the green went against his side from the outset leaving the club struggling to compete at crucial moments.