NRL great Billy Slater has fired off some tough words at Shaun Johnson and other senior players at the Cronulla Sharks after their shock loss to the Broncos.
The Sharks have slipped to eighth on the ladder after 16 rounds following their 24-22 loss to the Broncos on Sunday, having lost four of their last six games.
Slater said Johnson and other long-time players could learn a thing or two from the younger players who have played with heart while many of them were out injured or on rep duty.
“We’ve been waiting for these guns to come back for the Cronulla Sharks, these experienced representative players,” Slater said on Channel Nine.
“All these young guys have been competing really hard and have been doing a great job.
“And then Shaun Johnson, Wade Graham…Aaron Woods, Matt Moylan…these efforts from the representative players that are coming back into the team, they’re letting the team down.
“These are Test players and they know that this is what they’ve got to fix.
“When you’ve got your senior players coming back into your side, and the team is going well, and they’re not performing with the same intensity and urgency as the younger guys, that’s letting the team down.”
Johnson has been in the headlines since Sunday's loss after coach John Morris benched the Kiwis playmaker for the final minutes of the game with the team looking to find a miracle win.
Sharks captain Paul Gallen, who was also on the show, responded to the spraying by saying players met yesterday to reflect on their current form.
“That was all addressed today, and they all put their hands up for it,” he said.
“They all know it. We’ve just got to go out there and change it.”
The Sharks will have a tough opponent in the competition-leading Melbourne Storm to prove it this week with the two sides facing off at AAMI Park on Saturday night.