Tough night for junior Sharks
On a difficult night for the Sharks junior rep teams both were soundly beaten by the Sydney Roosters in matches played at Remondis Stadium on Friday night.
The Matthews Sharks were competitive at times before succumbing to their opponents 22-10 but in the SG Ball it was all the Roosters as they ran in 12 tries in a 60-6 rout.
The two losses will see the young Sharks sides lick their wounds and look to rebound in matches against the Wests Magpies next weekend.
In the first game of the night the Matthews Sharks replied to an early Roosters try with a four pointer of their own, scored by hard working hooker Blayke Brailey and the scores level at 4-all.
Two more first half tries to the Roosters however, coming as much from Sharks errors as from enterprising play from their opposition, saw the visitors go to ahead by 12-4, before a Cronulla penalty goal closed the gap to just six and had the teams separated by just a converted try at the break.
It was the next period of the game which put the result beyond doubt, two Roosters tries, one converted, had them ahead 22-6 and the Sharks were playing the last 10 or so minutes for pride.
To their credit the under-16 Sharks never gave up, with a late four-pointer from winger Luke Chivers putting some respectability into the scoreline.
In the end run it was 22-10, the Roosters scoring five tries to two in a well-deserved victory.
For the Sharks Fine Kula up front toiled hard, halfback Kyle Flanagan kicked cleverly and organized his troops well throughout, Brailey at hooker defended stoutly and Chivers out wide saved his team with some desperate cover tackles.
The Matthews Sharks, with two wins and two losses now face another of the leading teams next week in Western Suburbs in a game they need to win to remain in contention for a finals berth.
In the SG Ball a Tyler McIlroy try, the Sharks centre scoring adjacent to the uprights after a determined 15-metre run, saw the score at 6-4 in their favour after the first 15 minutes and a there was no indication early on as to the way the match and the final result might eventually pan out.
But from that point the Roosters, a hot tip by many to take out the SG Ball title, kicked into gear.
Some sizzling backline play, coming off the back of a series of strong forward charges and the Roosters dominated from that point on.
Five first half tries had the Roosters up 24-6 at the break and when the teams return for the second stanza things got much worse for the Sharks rather than better.
With Roosters fullback Latrell Mitchell, centre Paul Momirovski and interchange hooker Connor Watson running riot, seven more tries, some of them long range efforts, ran up the score and shocked a Sharks team who had been solid through the first three rounds of the competition.
While hard to single out individuals after such a heavy defeat, Sharks hooker Jye Bowen and back rower Jayden Walker deserve praise for special try-saving efforts late in the game when the result of the game had long been decided.
The Ball Sharks will now attempt to regroup as best they can ahead of their next assignment against the Western Suburbs Magpies.
Luke Chivers, Blayke Brailey tries Kyle Flanagan goal
Tyler McIlroy try, Jamayne Isaako goal