NSW Cup match report - Sharks v Manly
Centre Jonathan Wright returned to form with a hat trick of tries, getting great support from his teammates as the NSW Cup Sharks ran out convincing winners over the Manly Sea Eagles.
The Sharks ran riot in the second 40 minutes, turning a 22-8 half time lead into an emphatic 48-14 victory to consolidate their position inside the top eight on the NSW Cup ladder and sound a warning that the defending premiers had returned to something close to their best.
While Wright should have gained some confidence from his performance, so too would have Valentine Holmes, the young fullback showing glimses of his attacking brilliance in scoring two smart tries.
The match begab with the Sharks gave up an early try to trail 4-0 but their response was swift, Juniro Roqica running onto a perfectly weighted pass from Daniel Holdsworth to stride over untouched.
Valentine Holmes kicked the conversion to give the Sharks a 6-4 lead.
On their next attacking set the Sharks figured what had worked the first time was worth trying again with the combination of Holdsworth and a hard running Roqica producing a second four pointer.
The kick from Holmes was good and the Sharks were in front by 12-4.
A third Sharks four-pointer, this time from Penani Manumalealii put the home team 16-4 in front, before Manly bounced back to make it 16-8 with half time approaching.
However before the teams headed off for their break the Sharks added to their advantage when Jonathan Wright won the race to a Holdsworth kick to score adjacent to the uprights.
The Holmes conversion was successful and the Sharks led 22-8 at half time.
Manly bridged the gap with the first points of the second half to make the score 22-14 to the Sharks, but that would be as close as the visitors would get.
The Sharks would go on to pile on the points in the closing 25 minutes of the match, with Wright notching two more for three tries on the night, before young gun Valentine Holmes with a couple of brilliant moments would score twice, showing his enormous potential and putting the result beyond doubt.
Josh Portlock, backing up down the left hand of the field side crossed for the Sharks final try.
After two losses in their past two games the win was a welcome return to form for the Sharks who will remain inside the top eight and on track for a finals berth.
Jonathan Wright 3, Junior Roqica 2, , Valentine Holmes 2, Penani Manumalealii, Josh Portlock tries, Holmes 6 goals from 9 attempts