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Johnson first-choice kicker for NRL Sharks

Five-eighth Shaun Johnson will likely regain the goalkicking duties for Cronulla and is primed to produce an improved performance against NRL leaders Melbourne on Saturday.

Cronulla coach John Morris brought the New Zealand international off with four minutes to go in last week's home loss to Brisbane.

Johnson hardy did any ball running' in the game and Morris was adamant his kiwi star's confidence hadn't been affected by being replaced.

'He's fine, he's professional about it, he knows there's parts of his game he needs to work on," Morris said.

"He's had an outstanding week at training and I'm really looking forward to him getting out there tomorrow night."

Morris said Johnson would probably be the Sharks' starting goalkicker, an area in which they've struggled of late.

In all of their their losses over the past three weeks, the Sharks have scored more tries than their opponents, but missed nine out of 12 attempts.

Johnson missed all three of his shots against the Bulldogs two weeks ago and last week Chad Townsend went 0.4.

'We're just in a bit of a hole there at the moment," Morris said.

"It would be nice if we could score a few more tries in and around the posts, I think 11 of our last 12 have been outside the 10-metre line."

Morris said fullback Matt Moylan would miss Saturday's game at AAMI Park with a hamstring issue,

The Sharks had earlier lost their two co-captains, Paul Gallen with a glute strain and NSW Origin utility Wade Graham to a hamstring injury.

Graham is expected to miss three games, but Morris hopes to have Moylan and Gallen back next week.

They regain Andrew Fifita who will take over the captaincy after returning from suspension.

"I think the last time we beat Melbourne, which was their last loss in round eight, we had 1000 games out on the sideline so our boys have been in this situation before, we've still got a lot of experience there."

Morris said he was stoked his side were playing a Melbourne team galvanised by Cameron Smith playing his 400th game.

"I think it's the game we need on the back of our last couple of weeks,"' he said.

"It's good to go into a game being underdogs. The last couple of weeks we've been heavy favourites and we haven't handled that too good."

© AAP 2019

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