Despite fielding a team with an abundance of NRL experience, the NSW Cup Sharks have been narrowly beaten 30-28 by the Wests Tigers.
The Sharks struggled to keep pace with their opponents for most of the match, falling behind 30-18 with under five minutes of the match remaining, however two tries in the final moments almost stole the points with a late fight back.
Often their own worst enemies with a series of frustrating errors, the Sharks couldn’t claw back the lead from the Tigers, with the final score perhaps flattering a Cronulla team which were short of their best on the afternoon.
The Tigers went to half time ahead 22-12, with the Sharks points coming from an early Nathan Gardner try and a second score for the home team through Nathan Stapleton.
Sharks winger Staptleton was on target with both kicks and despite being on the back foot for most of the half they would go to the break still well in the match.
The second half told a similar story however, with the Sharks handling and goal line defense letting them down and before they knew it, they trailed by two converted tries with time ticking.
A frantic finish would follow, firstly it was Storm centre Mahe Fonua to touch down after the Tigers spilled a Daniel Holdsworth bomb, then Gardner scampered over when another well placed kick was fumbled by the Tigers defense.
Stapleton missed the conversion for the first four pointer but was on target with the second and at 30-28 an exciting final two minutes ensued.
The Sharks moved into an attacking position again but the Tigers were able to hold out.
The loss sees the Sharks stranded on 12 competition points, while the Wests Tigers moved to 14 with the win.
Nathan Gardner 3, Nathan Stapleton, Mahe Fonua tries, Stapleton 4 goals
WESTS Tigers 30