Sharks resurge against Roosters
In an amazing second half fight back, the Sharks have scored a 78th minute try to score a remarkable 30-28 come from behind victory over the Sydney Roosters.
Trailing 24-0 after the first 30 minutes the Sharks hung in, battled hard and with an outstanding second half performance have come home over the top of the Roosters to record a second.
The win brought memories flooding back of their win just a week prior when confronting a 22-0 deficit the Sharks came storming back to beat the Broncos 24-22 up in Brisbane.
After the week that was, the scenes in the Sharks rooms after the game were understandably jubilant, with the performance showing outstanding character amongst the playing group.
The start of the game gave no indication as to what would follow, with the Roosters dominating the early exchanges and on the back of an Anthony Minichiello line break the Roosters would exploit a staggered Sharks defensive line, with Mitchell Aubusson streaking away on the subsequent play to score untouched.
James Maloney added the extras and just six minutes in the Roosters would lead 6-0.
It didn’t take long for them to double their advantage, this time it was Mitchell Pearce backing up on the inside to score adjacent to the uprights.
With the successful conversion the Roosters were up 12-0 just 10 minutes into the contest.
More ordinary defense up the middle of the ruck saw the Roosters jump out to 18-0, before the Sharks looked to have posted first points through Jacob Gagan.
While the 10,732 strong crowd all thought it was a try, the on-field referees amongst them, the video referee thought otherwise and disallowed the try.
The Sharks had the best of the field position and a number of chances to eat into the Roosters lead but it wasn’t to be and on the back of a penalty rookie Brendan Elliot finished off a slick passing movement to cross wide out.
Maloney kicked the extra two points and with seven minutes of the first half remaining the Sharks would trial 24-0.
On the stroke of half time the Sharks would open their account, Wade Graham scoring in bizarre circumstances, with Sosaia Feki batting back a Jeff Robson kick into the hands of Roosters half Pearce, who turned and passed to Wade Graham, giving him an unimpeded 10-metre run to the try line.
Michael Gordon converted from wide out and the teams would go to the break with the Roosters leading 24-6.
The Sharks began the second half in spectacular fashion with Ricky Leutele making a break down the left hand side before finding Jeff Robson in support. From the next play deep inside Roosters territory Fa’amanu Brown showed great vision to chip kick for an unmarked Gagan to touch down wide out.
Gordon was picture perfect with his kick from the touch line and the Sharks trailed 24-12 with memories of their Broncos fight back a week ago flooding back.
And it looked as though the margin would be even closer, Robson and Graham combining to send debutant Tim Robinson streaking away, only for the front rower to be held up in goal by the scrambling Rooster defense.
But they wouldn’t have to wait long to add to their tally, just two tackles later Robson launched a cross field kick, with Sosaia Feki plucking it out of the air to score his teams third of the night.
Again from wide out Gordon slotted the conversion and it was game on at 24-18 Roosters with still half an hour of the match remaining.
A poor kick at the end of the Sharks next set of six allowed the Roosters to march back into attacking territory and despite some spirited goal line defense the home team would eventually cross, Aubusson going over for his second after running onto a well-timed Maloney pass.
The conversion attempt was wide but the Roosters had put a 10-point gap between the teams at 28-18 in front and looked likely to hold on for the win.
But the Sharks had other ideas, a second Gagan try, with the winger showing great strength to get the ball down narrowed the margin to six and when Gordon continued his excellent night with the boot by converting from the touchline the game was headed for a grandstand finish.
Now with all the momentum the Sharks attacked the Roosters line once more and it was Robson scoring the go-ahead try, weaving and darting through a tired Roosters defense before planting the ball down 15 metres to the left of the uprights.
Showing nerves of steel Gordon converted, giving the Sharks their first lead of the night with only two minutes left on the clock.
What followed was a frantic final few minutes, with the Sharks showing great desperation to deny the Roosters a try and register a remarkable victory.
Jacob Gagan 2, Wade Graham, Sosaia Feki, Jeff Robson tries Michael Gordon 5 goals
Mitch Aubusson 2, Mitchell Pearce, Shaun Kenny-Dowell, Brendan Elliot tries, James Maloney 4 goals
Minute by Minute scoring
6 mins – Roosters 6-0 - Aubusson try, Maloney goal
9 mins – Roosters 12-0 – Pearce try, Maloney goal
15 mins – Roosters 18-0 – Kenny-Dowell try, Maloney goal
30 mins – Roosters 24-0 – Elliot try, Maloney goal
38 mins – Roosters 24-6 – Graham try, Gordon goal
44 mins – Roosters 24-12 – Gagan try, Gordon goal
50 mins – Roosters 24-18 – Feki try, Gordon goal
58 mins – Roosters 28-18 – Aubusson try
72 mins – Roosters 28-24 – Gagan try, Gordon goal
78 mins – Sharks 30-28 – Robson try, Gordon goal