The NYC Sharks have fallen short despite putting in a spirited effort in going down to the Wests Tigers by 34-24 in their round 10 clash at Remondis Stadium.
The Sharks were on the back foot after conceding a couple of early tries, but showed commendable resolve to keep fighting back, at one point in the second half claiming a narrow lead, however in the final wash up the visitors were too good with the Tigers taking the honours.
As was the case last weekend in a narrow loss to the Eels again it was a topsy-turvey contest, with the momentum shifting a number of times throughout the game.
The Tigers grabbed the early ascendency and went to a 10-0 lead before a break down the left hand side saw Anthony Moraitis put Josh Addo-Carr into space, the winger kicking inside with Moraitis winning the race to the ball to touch down.
Valentine Holmes converted and the Sharks trailed 10-6.
They could have conceivably taken the lead shortly after, with Holmes splitting the Tigers defense wide open, however the final pass went to ground in letting their opponents off the hook.
Neither side was able to asset their control in the subsequent period of the the match but it was the Tigers to stretch the lead heading into the break, with a converted try seeing them lead 16-6 at half time.
Coming out of the sheds for the second period with greater commitment the Sharks fought hard and were rewarded for their effort, two tries to young centre Jamayne Isaako, one from a Jaden Clarke kick, the second after showing clever footwork, both converted by Holmes, gave the Cronulla team their first lead of the afternoon at 18-16 in front.
A Sharks error shortly after gifted the Tigers field position and they took advantage with a converted try putting them up by four.
They extended that lead to eight with another try, before prop Jake Goodwin crashed over under the sticks for the Sharks, Holmes adding the extras, to make it 26-24 with still plenty of time for the home team to steal a victory.
As hard as they would try however it wasn’t to be, with the Tigers getting across the line on two more occasions to seal the win.
The Sharks however would have been proud of the efforts of their team, especially considering injuries to a number of their senior playing personnel forced them to call on four under 18 players from their 2014 SG Ball squad.
All four acquitted themselves well, with Isaako getting two tries, Connor Tracey threatened with the ball at hand at half back, while Jayden Brailey was solid when entering the game from the interchange bench at hooker.
Another of the under 18’s in back rower Ash Nisbet, a late call-up for what was his debut in the NYC, also played strongly in the forward for the Sharks.
Of their more experienced teammates, Holmes at fullback was again dangerous in attack, with forwards Goodwin, Patrice Siolo and Winstone Asotasi toiling hard for their team despite the loss.
The Sharks remain on six competition points following the loss and next week will be desperate for a win when they face Souths in an attempt to remain in the finals race.
NYC SHARKS 24
Jamayne Isaako 2, Jake Goodwin, Anthony Moraitis tries, Valentine Holmes 4 goals
NYC WESTS TIGERS 34