Rd 19: Sharks lose to Cowboys
The Sharks have slumped to a disappointing 36-18 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys on a freezing winters night at Remondis Stadium.
Aside from a brief period leading up to half time the Sharks were outplayed by a Cowboys team desperate to keep their finals hopes flickering, with the visitors crossing for six tries in the win.
The match began poorly for the for the Sharks, fullback Michael Gordon spilling a Jonathan Thurston bomb in the second minute and despite a brief period where they battled back just prior to half time the Cowboys controlled most of the contest.
Tariq Sims on the spot to pick up the ball and plant it down for the opening try after the Gordon error and only three minutes later the Cowboys were in again, this time Thurston twisting through a couple of would-be defenders to go over wide out.
Thurston’s his attempt at conversion from wide out hit the uprights, the Cowboys had jumped out to a handy 10-point advantage.
The game settled somewhat for the next 15 minutes however the visitors continued to pressure the Sharks line, eventually adding to their lead with Antonio Winterstein touching down wide following a backline passing movement.
Again Thurston added the extras from the sideline and at 16-0 it looked as though the Sharks were in for a long night.
With the aid of a couple of penalties and improved field position the Sharks battled back and were rewarded for their efforts when Jonathan Wright out-jumped his opposition to claim a Fa’amanu Brown cross-field kick for his teams first points.
Gordon was on target with his kick at goal and with five minutes to go in the first half the Sharks had given themselves some hope at 16-6 behind.
The mood of the Sharks heading into halftime would be even further improved when Luke Lewis crashed through two Cowboy defenders to score the Sharks second. Gordon slotted the conversion it was 16-12 Cowboys after the first 40 minutes and anyone’s game.
The North Queensland side extended their lead to six with a Thurston penalty goal in the 48th minutes and they would go further in front when fullback Michael Morgan showed great determination to get the ball over the line despite the attention of four Sharks defenders.
The Thurston conversion made it 24-12 with 23 minutes left on the clock.
Now enjoying the better field position and all the momentum the Cowboys put the result beyond doubt, Glenn Hall scoring what could be termed a soft try through the middle of the Sharks ruck and after the simple kick at goal was successful the game was as good as over at 30-12.
Thurston crossed for a second following a one-on-one strip close to the Sharks line, before the Cronulla side would add some respectability to the score line with a try to Gordon after a Michael Lichaa dummy half dart and a Jeff Robson off load.
The loss sees the Sharks remain anchored to the bottom of the competition table with seven rounds left to finish the 2014 season.
On an injury front Siosaia Vave left the field with what appeared to be a pectoral issue, while Jacob Gagan failed to return after going off in the first half with a concussion.
The Sharks travel to Bathurst to play the Panthers next weekend.
Jonathan Wright, Luke Lewis, Michael Gordon tries, Michael Gordon 3 goals lost to
Tariq Sims, Johnathan Thurston, Antonio Winterstein Michael Morgan, Glenn Hall tries, Thurston 5 goals
Crowd – 9,366
Minute by minute scoring
2 mins – Cowboys 6-0 – Sims try, Thurston goal
4 mins – Cowboys 10-0 – Thurston try
21 mins – Cowboys 16-0 – Winterstein try, Thurston goal
34 mins – Cowboys 16-6 – Wright try, Gordon goal
37 mins – Cowboys 16-12 – Lewis try, Gordon goal
48 mins – Cowboys 18-12 – Thurston goal
56 mins – Cowboys 24-12 – Morgan try, Thurston goal
63 mins – Cowboys 30-12 – Hall try, Thurston goal
68 mins – Cowboys 36-12 – Thurston try, Thurston goal
74 mins – Cowboys 36-18 – Gordon try, Gordon goal