NYC – Sharks v Cowboys
On a frigid night at Remondis Stadium the NYC Sharks have notched their first victory since round five in beating the North Queensland Cowboys 24-22.
Building on a solid performance the week before when they held the competition leading Knights to a 22-all draw, the young Sharks held firm in the face of a late Cowboys comeback in registering a confidence boosting victory.
The match began with the Sharks capitalizing on a Cowboys error from the kickoff, with hooker Brad Deitz getting over the line from close range.
Valentine Holmes converted and the and with neither team having raised a sweat the Sharks were already ahead 6-0.
As has been their failing in a number of matches this season the Sharks then clocked off, a lack of concentration and some ordinary discipline allowing the Cowboys to score three unanswered tries and at 18-6 behind it appeared the Cronulla side was in for another long night.
On this particular night however the Sharks dug in and battled back, with two tries of their own leveling the score.
The first came when Anthony Moraitis was on the spot to clean up a Cowboy error, before Jaden Clarke, playing in the unaccustomed position of lock, showed great strength to crash over adjacent to the uprights.
Holmes converted both tires and the teams would go to half time locked at 18-all.
The initial period of the second period turned into something of a defensive struggle, with neither side able to add to their tally, but it would be Clarke to break the game open with a flash of individual brilliance.
Taking the ball on the attacking 40-metre line Clarke burst through before beating the fullback with a swerve and a show of speed and planting the ball down under the uprights.
Holmes converted and with 18 minutes remaining the Sharks led 24-18.
The Sharks grimly defended their lead until a Cowboy try made it 24-22 with the visitors having a conversion to even it up.
Kicking into a strong westerly wind the ball came up well short, with the Sharks then clinging to their narrow advantage through to the full time siren.
The win for the Sharks sees them move to 14 competition points, sixth clear of the 16th place Bulldogs and two points in front of the Gold Coast.
The Sharks play the Panthers next week in a game to be played in Bathurst.
Jaden Clarke 2, Brad Deitz, Anthony Moraitis tries, Valentine Holmes 4 goals
Sharks Team List v Cowboys
1. Valentine Holmes
18. Dallas Wells
3. Paul Simona
4. Jamayne Isaako
5. Josh Addo-Carr
22. Connor Tracey
7. Alex Zarounas
8. Alec Susino
9. Brad Deitz
10. Jake Goodwin
11. Anthony Moraitis
12. Patrice Siolo
16. Harrison Muller
6. Jaden Clarke
15. Sage Wilder
17. Kalausa Leha
19. Kurt Drysdale