In an incredible turnaround the Sharks have put weeks of frustration well and truly behind them, coming back from a 22-0 deficit to win 24-22 over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
For the first 42 minutes it appeared the game would follow a similar pattern to Sharks performances of the past few weeks, with Brisbane extending their lead to 22 with a try just after half time, but from there the game changed dramatically.
Chancing their arm the Sharks kept battling away and when Jacob Gagan scored for his teams’ first points since round 10, there was a glimmer of hope.
From that moment the Sharks found another gear, the Broncos wilted under the consistent pressure and the game turned on its ear with three further Sharks tries seeing them record a memorable win.
Records show the Sharks have twice comeback from 18 points to win, in 2002 and 2010, but recovering from a 22-point deficit was the biggest come from behind victory in club history.
The Broncos opened the scoring when they took advantage of a repeat set of six, Daniel Vidot finishing off an passing movement to touch down in the corner.
Ben Hunt was wide with his conversion attempt but it was the Broncos on top by 4-0.
The Sharks battled hard for the next period of the game but were unable to post points and it would be Brisbane to go further ahead, Alex Glenn bursting through a gaping hole in the defensive line before running 15 metres to plant the ball down under the uprights.
This time Hunt made no mistake and the Broncos were ahead by 10-0 after 28 minutes of the match.
The Brisbane team extended their lead to 16 points when Hunt stepped back in, beat a couple of defenders then found Dave Hala in support, the big front rower having a clear five metre run to the try line, with the signs ominous for the Sharks with half time approaching.
There then seemed there would be no way back for the Sharks when Hala crashed over in the second minute of the second half and leading 22-0 it was how far the Broncos with the Cronulla side struggling to match them.
They say rugby league is a funny game and that certainly describes what would transpire and it was young winger Gagan who broke the shackles with a try off a clever Todd Carney kick and while not necessarily back in the game the Sharks would have felt relieved to finally get the ball across the line.
Gordon gave them more reason to hope, slotting over the conversion attempt to make it 22-6 with still plenty of time left in the match.
Just four minutes later the Sharks were in again, this time it was skipper Paul Gallen barging over and again Carney had a hand in the try with a perfectly weighted pass to his skipper close to the Broncos line.
Gordon again kicked truly to make it 22-12 with more than 20 minutes of the match remaining.
The Sharks kept the pressure on, with Carney’s kicking game controlling proceedings and when hooker Michael Lichaa jumped out of dummy half before putting Carney into a gap for the five eighth to score, the Broncos were certainly looking nervous as the visitors closed within four points.
The Brisbane side did steady and it took some committed Sharks defense to deny them, but hold them out they did, before launching one last attacking raid.
And once again it was that man Carney, this time launching a perfect bomb into the direction of Broncos winger Dale Copley and when he spilled the ball, which was gladly accepted by Sosaia Feki, with the Sharks winger diving over to give his team its first lead of the night.
Gordon kept his nerve from 15 metres to the left of the posts in kicking the two points to put the Sharks ahead for the first time with now under five minutes left on the clock.
The Sharks held out in a frantic final few minutes to register a memorable win, one which will give the club a major boost after the struggles it has endured during the first 15 round of the season.
For the Sharks Carney was outstanding, with the star playmaker having a hand in all four of his teams’ tries. He was ably supported by Jeff Robson who in his first game back after a month on the sidelines with a hamstring strain, kicked intelligently and kept the pressure at key times.
The win was made all the more meritorious due to the fact that Luke Lewis was concussed early in the first half and forced from the field, leaving the team with just three interchange players.
The Sharks will enjoy the win before getting back to business in preparation for their next match, which is against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.
Jacob Gagan, Paul Gallen, Todd Carney, Sosaia Feki tries Michael Gordon 3 goals
David Hala 2, Daniel Vidot, Alex Glenn, tries Ben Hunt 2 goals
Minute by minute scoring
15 mins – Broncos 4-0 - Vidot try
28 mins – Broncos 10-0 – Glenn try, Hunt goal
36 mins – Broncos 16-0 – Hala try, Hunt goal
42 mins – Broncos 22-0 – Hala try, Hunt goal
54 mins – Broncos 22-6– Gagan try, Gordon goal
58 mins – Broncos 22-12 – Gallen try, Gordon goal
64 mins – Broncos 22-18 – Carney try, Gordon goal
74 mins – Sharks 24-22 – Feki try, Gordon goal