Junior Sharks take one from the Dogs
As they did the week prior the Sharks junior reps split a win and a loss with a win and a loss in games played against the Canterbury Bulldogs at Remondis Stadium on Saturday.
In contrast to their results of seven days earlier, it was the SG Ball Sharks chalking up a 26-6 win while in the Matthews Cup courtesy of two late tries it was the Bulldogs taking the points with a 28-22 victory.
In the SG Ball the Sharks fell behind 6-0 early but from that point gradually worked their way into the game, with two first half tries taking them to a 10-6 advantage at half time.
The Sharks tries came from a nice show and go from halfback Connor Tracey, the second after a determined run by Ash Nisbett.
The Cronulla 18’s controlled the ball and kept their foot on the throttle from the early moments of the second period, a second four pointer to Tracey, before a barging try to Daniel Liddcoat put them in front 22-6.
A final try in the north eastern corner to Cameron Scott sealed the result with the Sharks cementing their position in the top eight and now needing one more win in their final two games to qualify for the finals.
For the Ball Sharks fullback Ryan Cummins was dangerous when chiming into the attack and defensively half back Jack Williams was outstanding.
In the Matthews Cup, after coming off a solid win against the Central Coast last week the Sharks were confident of another positive result and in a see-sawing first half were on track to record a victory which could have almost cemented a finals berth.
The Sharks crossed three times in the first half, with Kyle Flanagan laying on the first for Wil Matthews with a well weighted kick, Dean Tatsis showing great determination to score the second, while Jordon Morris touched down for the third after the ball bounced in the Sharks favour following a kick rebound.
At 16-14 to the Sharks it was anyone’s game at the break.
The Bulldogs would go to the lead in the 40th minute of the match, only for the Sharks to strike back, young front rower Fine Kula shrugged off a number of tacklers to get the ball down near to the posts.
When Flanagan converted it was 22-18 Sharks with time running out.
Unfortunately for the Sharks a couple of poor attacking options gave their opponents a sniff and that’s all they needed, a fine individual try from the Dogs five eighth putting his team in front before a final minute four pointer sealed the win.
Despite the loss the Sharks had a number of strong performers, with prop Kula damaging with the ball in hand, Tatsis added a dimension to his teams attack with his good foot speed around the ruck and fullback Amo Lualua tried hard at fullback.
The loss however saw the Matthews Sharks remain on eight competition points, putting the in danger of dropping out of the finals race two weeks out from the playoffs.
The Sharks junior rep teams next week travel to play Parramatta on Saturday.
Dean Tatsis, Wil Matthews, Fine Kula, Jordan Morris triesl Kyle Flanagan 3 goals
Connor Tracey 2, Daniel Liddicoat, Ash Nisbet tries, Jamayne Isaako 3 goals