Depleted Sharks downed by Dragons
Benji Marshall bounced back to form and a depleted Sharks outfit while toiling hard were no match for the Dragons as they went down by 30-0 in their round 13 clash at WIN Stadium.
Missing up to 13 players from their full time NRL squad the assignment proved to be just a little too much for a Sharks team that was gallant but outplayed on the night.
In a positive to come from the game however debutant Fa’amanu Brown handled the step up to the big time in putting in a solid performance, while fellow first gamer Jacob Gagan didn’t let anyone down with his efforts on the wing.
The first try was engineered by Benji Marshall, who scrambled on the last tackle, found fullback Adam Quinlan in support, with the fullback throwing a long ball for winger Peter Mata’utai to score.
The kick was off target, however the Dragons had a 4-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Marshall was involved again for the Dragons second try, this time throwing a short ball for Josh Dugan to go over wide out.
This time Widdop was on target with his kick at goal and the Dragons had a 10-0 lead 22 minutes into the first half.
And worse was to come for the Sharks not long after and again it was the Marshall-Dugan combination, with the playmaker finding his centre with a no look pass in providing an easy run to the line.
Widdop’s kick bounced off the left hand upright but the Dragons had opened up a handy 14-0 advantage.
They extended their lead with another try before half time, this time to Gerard Beale and the Dragons would go to the break in front by a commanding 18-point margin.
The Sharks certainly showed plenty of grit after the break and it took the Dragons almost 20 minutes to add to their lead and for a third time it was Dugan and Marshall, with the St George centre jumping over the opposition to claim a Marshall cross-field kick. The conversion made it 24-0 Dragons.
Then as a final nail a try engineered by Widdop, finished off by Beale, saw the score blow out to 30-0 to the Dragons on another tough night in what has been a disappointing season for the Sharks.
For the Sharks Brown looked dangerous with the football, while in the forwards Bryce Gibbs, Isaac De Gois, Tinirau Arona and Wade Graham all tried hard.
The Sharks have the bye next weekend, with their next match against the Manly Sea Eagles at home on June 21.
Josh Dugan 3, Gerard Beale 2 Peter Mata’utai, tries Gareth Widdop 3 goals
Minute by minute scoring
14 mins – Dragons 4-0 - Mata’utia try
21 mins – Dragons 10-0 – Dugan try, Widdop goal
34 mins – Dragons 14-0 – Dugan try
36 mins – Dragons 18-0 – Beale try
59 mins – Dragons 24-0 – Dugan try, Widdop goal
66 mins – Dragons 30-0 – Beale try, Widdop goal